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Aidan Mikdad|The Scriabin Ravel Connection: Royal Academy of Music Bicentenary Series

The Scriabin Ravel Connection: Royal Academy of Music Bicentenary Series

Aidan Mikdad

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Awarding Aidan Mikdad’s first album with a Qobuzissime was a no-brainer—the record is just so impressive in every respect. At just 21 years of age, the Dutch pianist already has an impressive CV, having won numerous prizes (including the Royal Concertgebouw Young Talent Award) and receiving grants from the Clavier-Festival Ruhr and the Royal Academy of Music in London. The Scriabin Connection came into being largely thanks to the latter, as part of the Academy’s bicentenary celebrations. It must be said that the young prodigy has benefited from the guidance of several key mentors: Nelson Goerner, Sir Andras Schiff, Jean-Yves Thibaudet… and even Arcadi Volodos, who recently invited Aidan Mikdad to share the stage with him at the TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht!


Mikdad does not play it safe in this first album, combining technical virtuosity and intelligence in his comparison of two composers: Scriabin and Ravel. For the former, we are treated to earlier works written between 1894 and 1897 (before Scriabin began his aesthetic turn towards more mystical colours), beginning with the Second Sonata, Op. 19. The first movement of the work, inspired by the sea, responds marvelously to the Ondine from Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit in the second half of the album. As for the Prelude and Nocture for the left hand, the peculiar technical aspect is a result of Scriabin’s tendonitis - an affliction he suffered from between 1891 and 1893 as a result of excessive exercise. The thematic link with Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand is immediately obvious, Ravel having composed the work for the pianist Paul Wittgenstein who had lost his right arm at the front during the First World War.


In Scriabin’s Sonata or Prelude and Nocturne, just as in Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit, the pianist pulls on the heart strings with his velvet touch - an impeccable navigation of ranges and nuances, and a rich, full-bodied approach to tempo. The pianist has perfectly internalised the mixture of madness, mystery and elegance that so strongly characterises the works of both composers. This is all the more perceptible in Scriabin’s compositions, the complex writing of which often intimidates young performers, who are normally inclined to gain more experience before climbing this stylistic mountain. Mikdad has shown such audacity here—may he be rewarded accordingly! © Pierre Lamy/Qobuz

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The Scriabin Ravel Connection: Royal Academy of Music Bicentenary Series

Aidan Mikdad

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Piano Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor, Op. 19 "Sonata-Fantasy" (Alexander Scriabin)

1
I. Andante
00:07:40

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - ALEXANDER SCRIABIN, Composer - Aidan Mikdad, MainArtist

2022 Outhere 2022 Linn Records

2
II. Presto
00:03:52

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - ALEXANDER SCRIABIN, Composer - Aidan Mikdad, MainArtist

2022 Outhere 2022 Linn Records

Prelude and Nocturne for the Left Hand, Op. 9 (Alexander Scriabin)

3
I. Prélude
00:02:45

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - ALEXANDER SCRIABIN, Composer - Aidan Mikdad, MainArtist

2022 Outhere 2022 Linn Records

4
II. Nocturne
00:05:10

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - ALEXANDER SCRIABIN, Composer - Aidan Mikdad, MainArtist

2022 Outhere 2022 Linn Records

Gaspard de la Nuit, M. 55 (Maurice Ravel)

5
I. Ondine
00:06:21

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Aidan Mikdad, MainArtist

2022 Outhere 2022 Linn Records

6
II. Le gibet
00:05:26

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Aidan Mikdad, MainArtist

2022 Outhere 2022 Linn Records

7
III. Scarbo
00:08:59

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Aidan Mikdad, MainArtist

2022 Outhere 2022 Linn Records

Album review

Awarding Aidan Mikdad’s first album with a Qobuzissime was a no-brainer—the record is just so impressive in every respect. At just 21 years of age, the Dutch pianist already has an impressive CV, having won numerous prizes (including the Royal Concertgebouw Young Talent Award) and receiving grants from the Clavier-Festival Ruhr and the Royal Academy of Music in London. The Scriabin Connection came into being largely thanks to the latter, as part of the Academy’s bicentenary celebrations. It must be said that the young prodigy has benefited from the guidance of several key mentors: Nelson Goerner, Sir Andras Schiff, Jean-Yves Thibaudet… and even Arcadi Volodos, who recently invited Aidan Mikdad to share the stage with him at the TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht!


Mikdad does not play it safe in this first album, combining technical virtuosity and intelligence in his comparison of two composers: Scriabin and Ravel. For the former, we are treated to earlier works written between 1894 and 1897 (before Scriabin began his aesthetic turn towards more mystical colours), beginning with the Second Sonata, Op. 19. The first movement of the work, inspired by the sea, responds marvelously to the Ondine from Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit in the second half of the album. As for the Prelude and Nocture for the left hand, the peculiar technical aspect is a result of Scriabin’s tendonitis - an affliction he suffered from between 1891 and 1893 as a result of excessive exercise. The thematic link with Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand is immediately obvious, Ravel having composed the work for the pianist Paul Wittgenstein who had lost his right arm at the front during the First World War.


In Scriabin’s Sonata or Prelude and Nocturne, just as in Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit, the pianist pulls on the heart strings with his velvet touch - an impeccable navigation of ranges and nuances, and a rich, full-bodied approach to tempo. The pianist has perfectly internalised the mixture of madness, mystery and elegance that so strongly characterises the works of both composers. This is all the more perceptible in Scriabin’s compositions, the complex writing of which often intimidates young performers, who are normally inclined to gain more experience before climbing this stylistic mountain. Mikdad has shown such audacity here—may he be rewarded accordingly! © Pierre Lamy/Qobuz

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