Alexander Scriabin (1872 – 1915) was a Russian composer and pianist and a contemporary of Rachmaninoff. I first became acquainted with his music in high school through the records of Vladimir Horowitz, which fostered in me a love of Scriabin – surely among the most individual composers who ever lived – which continues to this day.
The Etude Op. 42 No. 5, played here by pianist Irina Morozova, is one of my favorite Scriabin pieces. The tempo marking is “affanato”, which means “breathlessly”. Truly an extraordinary piece.