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Alexander Scriabin : arranged by Simon Farintosh : Five Preludes : Bergmann

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Alexander Scriabin, arranged by Simon Farintosh

Bergmann Edition : 8 pages

Simon Farintosh is an incredible player, that much is obvious, not only from these arrangements here, but also from the video on YouTube of him playing the first four of this edition of the Russian composer, Alexander Scriabin’s Five Preludes , originally for piano.

The immediate thing you notice is that all five are in their original keys, and so the first two from |his Op11, nos. 9, and 22, are in E Major and G Minor respectively. Opus 16, No4 is in its original Eb minor of 6 flats as a key signature.Op27 No2 is in B Major, and the final Op39, No2 is in D Major.

Anyone who has heard and seen Scriabin’s piano music will know how pianistic it is, and therefore normally how unnatural it is to try and fit it onto the guitar, but Farintosh manages it, and they really do work, but you have to realise that this is advanced music throughout and so no other standard of player will be able to cope with these small, but beautifully and unusually harmonised works.

Strange hand positions are often necessary here, to cope with the chords and part – writing that occurs throughout them, and although the fingerings are all there throughout the set, there are a number of times when playing it the way it says, with the fingers the music says, doesn’t always allow the player to hang onto the notes for the length that they are written , for example Prelude in Gm Op11 No22, where in bar 1 through to bar 2, the 2nd finger is hanging on, via a tie across the bar line to a low F# on string 5, which is fret 9, and yet is then also playing a high Bb above that held F# on fret 6 of the top string , still with the second finger!

So, in essence , lovely music , and to my knowledge , never before heard on a guitar, and yet presented here in some very effective arrangements , but which are really difficult to get your hands around, but if the challenge is one you might take up, this music is certainly worth the effort required.

Chris Dumigan

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