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Scriabin - Symphony No. 1 & Poem of Ecstasy

Release date: 01 Jul 2015, 5186514

Artists

Svetlana Shilova , Mikhail Gubsky , Vladislav Lavrik , Norbert Gembaczka , Alexander Solovyev , Russian National Orchestra , Mikhail Pletnev

Composers

Alexander Scriabin

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Press Quotes

The Telegraph

...it is a testament to Pletnev’s understanding of and thorough immersion in the manner of Skriabin’s musical thinking that this performance is both fluid and taut, the music’s colours gleaming and shimmering...an outstanding tribute to Skriabin in his centenary year.

Classical CD Choice

...with this overwhelming performance, as orgiastic as the composer might have wished.

MusicWeb International

Recording of the Month In Pletnev’s hands the opening bars of the first Lento waft into one’s consciousness as if borne on a gentle, perfumed zephyr. [...]Goodness, what stupendous playing and exemplary sonics. No one, and I mean no one, delivers the second Lento more beautifully than Pletnev and the RNO. Together they create an air of delicious intoxication that seduced me from the start; indeed, it’s as if they’ve unlatched and unleashed all one’s dormant senses. From the music’s languid caresses to its precipitous teasings, this is the most erotically charged performance of the piece I can recall. Heavens, what an experience. In fact I’m certain you won’t hear a more powerful or persuasive account of this piece any time soon. Incandescent Scriabin, superbly recorded...

  Duration Price Price Price Price  
Symphony No. 1 in E Major, Op. 26 55:18  
Lento 7:47  
Allegro drammatico 10:54  
Lento 11:05  
Vivace 4:00  
Allegro 7:56  
Andante 13:36  
The Poem of Ecstasy, Op. 54 21:22  
Symphony No. 4 21:22  
 

Album information

The Russian National Orchestra wishes to thank Ann and Gordon Getty and the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation for their support of this recording.

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. The first movement, in sonata form (Allegro dramatico), is followed by a slow movement (Lento), a scherzo (Vivace) and an Allegro, again in sonata form. 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. The First Symphony documents a search for salvation and unification, both of which can only be found in art: “May your mighty and free spirit reign all-powerfully on earth; and humanity, lifted up by you, perform a noble deed. Come all nations of the world and let us sing praises to art!”

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.

However, when the Russian première finally did take place, on 1 February 1909, it wound up being a true spectacle. The then young composition student, Sergei Prokofiev wrote, “Myaskovsky and I sat next to each other and consumed the Poème de l’extase with the greatest of interest, although, at different moments during the performance, we were entirely confused by the newness of the music. We had expected something surpassing the divine Poème, which we both knew well and loved. But both the harmonic and thematic material of the work, as well as its contrapuntal voice-leading, resembled nothing we had ever heard before.”

Conductor Mikhail Pletnev surpasses the extreme with his Scriabin interpretation and draws what he needs from the Russian National Orchestra - the Moscow-based ensemble he founded in 1990. This results in a near perfect performance of both works. Blessed by the orchestra’s warm, vibrant playing, this album is a real pleasure for everyone who adores the esoteric and unorthodox work of Scriabin. It is definitely THE Symphony No. 1 and Poem of Ecstasy to own: an ideal performance with sonic audio quality to match.

both the harmonic and thematic material of the work, as well as its contrapuntal voice-leading, resembled nothing we had ever heard before.

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