Sunday 3 January 2016

Audiophile Audition: Scriabin Symphony No.1 Review



"These Russian musicians seem to have the edge on Scriabin and are truly inspired thruout. The work is full of luscious sensuality and big climaxes."

 

We are proud to share with you that our release of "Scriabin - Symphony No. 1 and The Poem of Ecstacy" with the Russian National Orchestra and Mikhail Pletnev received another excellent review from Audiophile Audition. This review praises Pletnev's interpretation of this repertoire to bring out all its amazing harmonic points. Read more of this exquisite review.

 

It’s too bad the wonderful symphonies of Scriabin are not more heard in the concert halls – all the attention seems to be on his piano music, of which more than half sounds like Chopin on something. This is the first multichannel recording of Scriabin’s First Symphony, and to my mind it is his version of what Beethoven achieved in his Symphony No. 9. The closing movement, with its soprano and tenor soloists and chorus, may be a rather bland poem in praise of art, but the total effects of all six movements is one of the most compelling nature. The two singers really put out – more so than on any competing recording. Only Riccardo Muti in his 1985 recording came close, but of course that is not in hi-res surround. These Russian musicians seem to have the edge on Scriabin and are truly inspired thruout. The work is full of luscious sensuality and big climaxes. And with Pentatone’s excellent 5-chanel sound, makes for one of their best recordings.

[ Check out this recording: ]

 

The one-movement Poem of Ecstasy is also known as the Scriabin’s Fourth Symphony, but not frequently identified that way. It has been previously available in hi-res but only in stereo, conducted by Leopold Stokowski and others. (The Stokowski is currently on King International.) Again, Pletnev takes a magisterial pacing with this work and brings out all its marvellous harmonic points. The grand finale is super-charged by the use of the pipe organ, which is not heard on most recordings of the Poem.

Hopefully this will be the start of a complete cycle of all the Scriabin Symphonies from Pletnev and his Russian musicians on Pentatone.

John Sunier