Alexander Scriabin - Symphony No. 1 & The Poem of Ecstasy (2015)

Scriabin

Russian National Orchestra

Mikhail Pletnev

The position occupied by Alexander Scriabin in musical life around the turn of the 20th century can be characterised as entirely unique. On the one hand, a phenomenal piano virtuoso and the composer of attractive piano pieces reminiscent of Chopin, on the other, a trail-blazer for the musical avant-garde in search of new modes of expression and – at the same time – a megalomanic mystic, philosopher and high priest who regarded himself as God, Scriabin’s aim was nothing less than to unite humanity through his theosophically inspired music in an eternal realm of love. Scriabin, who, as a result of his synesthetic abilities, saw colours when he heard chordal formations, wanted to make these colours visible to listeners by means of a colour keyboard of his own invention. Not surprisingly, his music is di cult to ‘pigeonhole’ and continues to elicit divergent reactions.

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Russian National Orchestra

The Russian National Orchestra was founded in 1990 by pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev and is today recognized as one of the world’s top orchestras.  Maintaining an active international tour schedule, the RNO appears throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas, and is a frequent visitor to major festivals such as Edinburgh, Shanghai and the BBC Proms.  The orchestra presents its own RNO Grand Festival each September to open the Moscow season, and is founding orchestra of Festival del Sole, held every July in California’s Napa Valley.

RNO concerts are regularly aired on National Public Radio in the United States, the European Broadcasting Union, and Russia's Kultura channel.  The orchestra's critically acclaimed discography, launched with a 1991 CD cited as the best recording of Tchaikovsky’s Pathéthiquein history, now numbers more than 80 recordings, with conductors that include Founder and Music Director Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Jurowski, Kent Nagano, Vasily Petrenko and Carlo Ponti. 

Mikhail Pletnev

After his studies at the Central Special Music School, Mikhail Pletnev entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1974, where he studied with Jakob Flier and Lev Vlasenko. Aged only 21, Pletnev was the Gold Medal and First Prize winner of the 1978 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. He has since appeared as soloist with the major orchestras under conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano and Kurt Sanderling.

In 1990, following the collapse of the Soviet system, Mikhail Pletnev was able to realize his dream of forming the Russian National Orchestra. Under his artistic leadership, the RNO has become known as one of the world’s leading orchestras. Although his conducting career is primarily focused on the RNO, he also makes appearances as a guest-conductor with such prestigious orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berliner Sinfonieorchester and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In September 1999, Pletnev was appointed the RNO’s Conductor Laureate and his collaboration with the orchestra has continued in many of its recordings and concerts. In February 2003, he conducted the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra at the Berliner Konzerthaus for the official opening of the Russian Year of Culture. 

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Alexander Scriabin - Symphony No. 1 & The Poem of Ecstasy (2015)

Scriabin

Russian National Orchestra

    MusicWeb International

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...

Dan Morgan[read full review]

    SA-CD.net

It is very much to be hoped that this superb recording is a fore-runner of a complete SACD cycle of the Scriabin Symphonies for PENTATONE.

[read full review]

    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 Music Sentinel

I've never heard this movement, or the whole symphony for that matter, done so well and expressed with so much conviction. ...Pletnev's pace and grasp of the sonic landscape are bang on the money, and the members of the orchestra give it all they've got, and project a moment of expressive elation like no other. If you don't know the music of Alexander Scriabin, this new recording is a great place to take the plunge into his deep harmonic waters. August, 2015

Jean-Yves Duperron[read full review]

    Gramophone Magazine

[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 Russian National Orchestra and all the artists involved have this music coursing through their very veins.

Gramophone Magazine[read full review]

Alexander Scriabin - Symphony No. 1 & The Poem of Ecstasy (2015)

Scriabin

Russian National Orchestra

Producer: Erdo Groot
Recording Engineer: Erdo Groot, Roger de Schot
Recording location: DZZ studio 5 Moscow
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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PTC5186514: Alexander Scriabin - Symphony No. 1 & The Poem of Ecstasy
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Tracks.
1.
Symphony No. 1 in E Major Lento
Scriabin
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2.
Symphony No. 1 in E Major Allegro drammatico
Scriabin
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3.
Symphony No. 1 in E Major Lento
Scriabin
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4.
Symphony No. 1 in E Major Vivace
Scriabin
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5.
Symphony No. 1 in E Major Allegro
Scriabin
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6.
Symphony No. 1 in E Major Andante
Scriabin
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7.
The Poem of Ecstasy, Op. 54
Scriabin
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