No.1 In A - Alexander Scriabin* - Scriabin: The Complete Works (CD)
So, not surprisingly the effect of bringing together a group of diverse performers and recordings for these piano works is something of a mixed blessing.
Individual taste and preference will dictate the balance between perceived 'hits' and 'misses'. Discs 9 and 10 are valuable if 'completeness' is an over-riding consideration as they hoover up between them the early piano works and the token chamber and orchestral pieces.
Scriabin's single song is no forgotten masterpiece and the D minor Duett WoO10 could have been written by just about any composer of maudlin Slavic ballads.
Why it was considered a good idea to have soprano Anush Hovhannisyan track both of the vocal lines I do not know. I understand that no studio recording is ever anything more than an illusion of a 'real' performance - knowing that it has been stitched together in this way rather rubs that in. Richard Watkins contributes a lyrical Horn Romance that is enjoyable but again no work of No.1 In A - Alexander Scriabin* - Scriabin: The Complete Works (CD) individuality.
Roberto Szidon brings his considerable technique to the early un-numbered Sonata which is certainly worth hearing but his recording is one of the least impressive in the box and his piano not an instrument of great tonal beauty. Disc 10 includes Scriabin's one foray into the world of quartet repertoire. This is a short Allegretto movement as his contribution to a composite Theme and Variations on a Russian theme work featuring ten Russian composers of varying degrees of posthumous fame from Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov to Nikolai Artsibushev and Alexander Winkler.
The Kuss Quartet perform the whole work well if not exceptionally and it contains some interesting movements - although the Scriabin is a less than completely involving 51 second exercise in flowing counterpoint. Rimsky-Korsakov's offering is much more interesting. I did not know the Andante and Scherzo for strings which receive rather sloppy and poor live performances from the Hamburg Strings - on the evidence of the works as presented here again nothing of any great worth.
The remainder of disc 10 is better known both as works and - in the case of the Piano Concerto - performances. The Symphonic Poem is curious because although so titled there does not seem to be any extra-musical narrative it is illustrating. No.1 In A - Alexander Scriabin* - Scriabin: The Complete Works (CD) such it is simply a quarter-hour piece of Russian gloom which is not the equal of any of Tchaikovsky essays in the genre. The generic nature of the work rather highlights the fact that Scriabin was at his considerable best when he was not trying to emulate any of his contemporaries.
The Piano Concerto sits on the cusp of generic and original. Ashkenazy is again at the keyboard and receives strong support from Lorin Maazel and the LPO dating from with a classic Decca analogue recording in the Kingsway Hall engineered by Kenneth Wilkinson and Stanley Goodall.
The sound is remarkably fine for its age with a fractional edge to the string tone betraying its age. This recording has been in the catalogue pretty much continuously and has been challenged in more recent times by the award-winning Demidenko on Hyperion amongst others but to my ear this remains a convincing interpretation.
When Ashkenazy moves to the conductor's rostrum I am less impressed. For two of the three numbered Symphonies this set has selected Ashkenazy's cycle with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin from the early s review.
In isolation these performances are perfectly acceptable with fine playing and good engineering. The issue lies with Ashkenazy's overall approach to the works. The catalogue is not exactly over-burdened with complete Scriabin Symphony cycles but other conductors make far stronger cases for individual works or indeed the whole cycle.
This proved to be one of Muti's most successful recordings in Philadelphia and the sheer quality of the orchestra and the weight of tone they can produce utterly overwhelms the Decca performances in every respect.
Ashkenazy sounds cautious and in his hands the closing choral movement right down to the rather academic fugal writing sounds effortful and clumsy. This can still be tracked down on various RCA-twofers at a price and embodies the wild histrionics of Scriabin.
Svetlanov's great gift was to perform music at white heat with total conviction - this might result in some unsubtle, even crude recordings but they are exciting and Scriabin in his orchestral music needs that sense of unbridled excitement. Again this is a perfectly serviceable performance but nothing to make an inattentive listener sit up and take particular notice. Also, forthis ex-Philips recording is nothing special with a couple of curious analogue dropouts and edits rather audible.
For the Second and Third Symphonies competition in the catalogue becomes considerably stiffer. The sonata was published by the prestigious publishing house owned by M.
Belaieff in initially as a Sonatina, only later as a sonata. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Piano sonatas by Alexander Scriabin. Sonate-Fantaisie in G-sharp minor No. List of compositions by Alexander Scriabin. Come, all peoples of the world, Let us sing the praises of Art!
Glory to Art, Glory forever! Symphony No. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Alexander Scriabin. List of compositions. Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor. ANS synthesizer. Allegretto in F sharp minor Allegretto in G minor Moderato in E major Doloroso in D sharp minor Scherzando in C sharp minor Con passine in E minor Con moto in B flat minor Allegretto in G sharp minor Sotto voce in E flat minor Gordon Fergus-Thompson Allegro Appassionato Op.
Allegro con fuoco Presto G sharp minor F sharp major 12 Etudes, Op. Allegro C sharp minor A capriccio con forza in F sharp minor Tempestoso in B minor Piacevole B major Brioso in E major Con grazia in A major Tenebroso agitato in B flat minor Lento in A flat major Alla ballata in G sharp major Allegro in D flat major Andante in B flat minor Patetico in D sharp minor Gordon Fergus-Thompson Prelude in C sharp minor Vivace in C major Allegretto in A minor Vivo in G major Lento in E minor Andante in D major Allegro in B minor Allegro assai in A major No.1 In A - Alexander Scriabin* - Scriabin: The Complete Works (CD) Allegro in F sharp minor Andantino in E major Andante in C sharp minor On top of things though No.1 In A - Alexander Scriabin* - Scriabin: The Complete Works (CD) clearly is, his phrasing and pace are a little reserved, a little too restrained even.
If you subscribe to the assessment of Scriabin that he had an element of genius close to insanity, or at least eccentricity in common with some of his near contemporaries like Satie, then you'll long for a greater sense that the music is driven, inevitable, clairvoyant. While Inbal achieves great distances and vision in the Second symphony, he doesn't lack sensitivity or delicacy.
His sense of architecture matches urgency with vision the most effectively. Drama shoots through the musing passages just as strikingly as through the climaxes. That is what Scriabin needs. His orchestral world is neither freakish nor deficient because self-avowedly extreme.
On one or more of several limbs it may be for some. But it makes its impact in the hands of Gergiev very effectively. The idea that Scriabin is hinting at something of great power is alluded to rather No.1 In A - Alexander Scriabin* - Scriabin: The Complete Works (CD) emphasized in all the orchestral performances in the set.
Things unfold with a regularity and linearity that contradict the freedom that surely defines the composer's intentions. There's no lack of understanding of color, feel or how Scriabin used orchestration to guide and direct our feelings… contrast and development, for example. And the momentum may well have been chosen as a potential antidote to the oft-leveled criticism that Scriabin's music "rambles". But the surprises and climaxes in these overtly mystical symphonies may be just a little tempered for some listeners.
The Preparation for the Final Mysterywhich was realized by Alexander Nemtin, is an extraordinary work with even wider scope than the symphonies; and of course multiple references outside the purely musical.
Such highly personal visions need sympathetic interpretations, ideally in some sympathy with the composer's vision. Yet without becoming tangled in its idiosyncrasies. In this case these are ones of length, scope and performance requirements. Stimulated by his reading of Nietzsche, Blok and Madame Blavatsky and the Russian Theosophists, the "Mysterium" was to be for large orchestra, mixed choir, visual keyboard-light effects, dancers, incense, processions and spoken text. Intended for performance in a cathedral whose body was to be "manipulated" by effects — of smoke and lights, the music itself was to have an effect on humanity in increasing consciousness and fulfillment.
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