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Scriabin: Symphony No. 1; The Poem of Ecstasy / Russian Nat'l Orchestra; Mikhail Pletnev

Album Summary

>Scriabin, Alexander : Symphony no 1 in E major (with chorus in finale), Op. 26
>Scriabin, Alexander : Le Poème de l'extase (Poem of Ecstasy), symphony [No. 4] in C major, Op. 54
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

In 1899, Scriabin began writing his most ambitious composition to date: the First Symphony. The work still reflects the influence of the traditional four-movement formal scheme. But Scriabin also framed the symphony with an introductory movement in a slow tempo and a monumental choral finale with a text of his own composition, and it is this movement that can be said to occupy the work’s interpretational centre of gravity. Le Poème de l’extase debuted in New York on 10 December 1908, after a performance in Russia had to be cancelled due to the difficulty of the score. When the Russian première finally did take place, on 1 February 1909, it wound up being a true spectacle, as Sergei Prokofiev, then a young composition student in attendance, later testified. Conductor Mikhail Pletnev leads the Russian National Orchestra – the Moscow-based ensemble he founded in 1990.

The Telegraph, 11th July 2015
In musical phrasing, orchestration and in all manner of melodic and harmonic detail [the First] is a work that clearly points to the Skryabin of the future. Pletnev recognises this factor here in his malleable control of tempo: the music flows and surges with spontaneity and with clear definition of climax and repose...an outstanding tribute to Skryabin in his centenary year.

The Guardian, 6th August 2015
There's a sense that Scriabin's Symphony No 1 picks up where Wagner left off, and Mikhail Pletnev approaches this sprawling work with both an ear for a yearning phrase and an eye for huge musical architecture...Pletnev's is a very persuasive take on a repertoire most conductors seem shy of.

Gramophone Magazine, August 2015
[Pletnev] has an innate feel for the symphony's and The Poem of Ecstasy's shape and colour, by no means afraid to let rip when full instrumental forces are in play but also well aware that Scriabin could use his palette of timbres with telling discretion... these are performances in which you sense that the RNO and all the artists involved have this music coursing through their very veins.

American Record Guide, March/April 2016
The interpretation of both works here is expansive in stride and epic in mood - the symphony especially. It runs four or five minutes longer than usual, but never drags. To the contrary, it's so well-proportioned. The singers are fine and in both pieces the orchestra sounds opulent and vigorous. Pletnev is in command of both works' formal structure, so they don't droop. Add Pentatone's superb SACD sound and this goes to the top of the stack.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: DZZ Studio 5 in Moscow, Russia; St Ludwig-Kirche in Ber (03/2014).



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Works Details

>Scriabin, Alexander : Symphony no 1 in E major (with chorus in finale), Op. 26
  • Performer: Norbert Gembaczka (Organ)
  • Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev
  • Ensemble: Russian National Orchestra
  • Running Time: 54 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1899-1900

>Scriabin, Alexander : Le Poème de l'extase (Poem of Ecstasy), symphony [No. 4] in C major, Op. 54
  • Performers: Norbert Gembaczka (Organ); Vladislav Lavrik (Trumpet)
  • Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev
  • Running Time: 21 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1905-1908