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Scriabin: Concerto for Piano in F#m; Prometheus
Alexander Scriabin, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, The Hague Residentie Orkest
Scriabin: Concerto for Piano in F#m; Prometheus
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #1

When Alexander Scriabin composed his Prometheus, Poem of Fire in 1910, it was all the rage to make works of art that sought to solve every global problem through artistic uplift. And while you could easily expect such a pr...  more »

     
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When Alexander Scriabin composed his Prometheus, Poem of Fire in 1910, it was all the rage to make works of art that sought to solve every global problem through artistic uplift. And while you could easily expect such a premise to urge a populist work with only digestible parts, Scriabin presented the complicated, gnashed, 20-minute Prometheus. As an early prodigy on piano, Scriabin discovered his big-piece compositional knack only after establishing himself with accomplished, popular études. This collection is a far cry from those and the other easily assimilated Chopin-inspired works he wrote earlier in his career. There are gobs of tension here and circuitous, sometimes jutting rhythms that make the pieces electric with color and energy. The Piano Concerto, Op. 20, and the Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra defy the overt challenges of Prometheus, and Viktoria Postnikova does a brilliant job with their more standard pianism and 19th-century elements, which all seem very, very subdued after Postnikova's white-knuckle ride through the de facto main course of this CD. --Andrew Bartlett
 

CD Reviews

Best interpretation of Piano Concerto out there!
D. P. Schroeder | Amidst the Carolinas | 11/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"All three pieces on this CD are exceptionally played, which surprised me because I'm not familiar with the ensemble or pianist, though the conductor needs no introduction. The depth and intensity of the ensemble, both in powerful and delicate sections of the works, is quite surprising -- I look forward to hearing more from them.

By far, the best performed work is the Piano Concerto. Absolutely brilliant, poignant, light and flowing where necessary, intense and driven where necessary, and gloriously emotional throughout.

The second movement, the "tema con variazioni," is absolutely the most fantastic interpretation I've ever heard. I think part of the key is in the tempi. Rozhdestvensky and Postnikova take this slightly slower overall (most clock in around 8:30; this is just over 10). It doesn't drag though, even with the repetitive nature of the tema. The clarinetist, too, deserves praise here.

The Fantasy, arranged by the conductor and first recorded here, is a delight you won't find elsewhere.

My previous favorite, and it's still great, was Ugorski & Boulez's recording with Chicago on DG, but this one is now my favorite for the Concerto. That piece alone makes this disc worth buying."