Characterized by editor Sara Davis Buechner as "elegant Romantic salon music of the Russian school, subtly genteel, with early impressionistic shadings," the piano music of Anton Arensky formed the foundation of works by Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. Both of the latter-day composers were Arensky's pupils, and their teacher's music contains the seeds of Rachmaninoff's idiomatic pianistic style and Scriabin's impressionistic array of musical color.
This collection of short works for solo piano contains the title suite as well as Six Canonic Pieces, op. 1; Three Esquisses, op. 24; Six Essais sur les Rhythmes Oubilées, op. 28, Four Etudes, op. 41, Six Caprices, op. 43; and Scherzo, op. 8. The star of the collection is the beautiful and gracious set of pieces titled Près de la Mer, op. 52. Rarely printed in its entirety, the suite offers a sensitive and opulent evocation of the seaside.