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Scriabin: Symphony No. 1 and The Poem of Ecstasy
Symphony No. 1 in E Major, Op. 26
The Poem of Ecstasy, Op. 54 (Symphony No. 4)
Svetlana Shilova (soprano), Mikhail Gubsky (tenor), Vladislav Lavrik (trumpet), Norbert Gembaczka (organ)
Chamber Choir of the Moscow Conservatory
Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev
Telegraph: Best Classical Albums, 2015
MusicWeb Recording of the Month
5186514 (2015)

Acclaim for Scriabin: Symphony No. 1 and The Poem of Ecstasy

Best Classical Albums of 2015
"This new, refreshed interpretation of the "Poem of Ecstasy"... possesses a voluptuousness and volatility that Pletnev conjures in a performance of truly ecstatic headiness. It is an outstanding tribute to Scriabin in his centenary year."

The Telegraph (December 2015) [more]

"[Scriabin's First Symphony] is captivating in Mikhail Pletnev's excellent performance: in the thistledown Scherzo, the Russian National Orchestra demonstrates polished and tight ensemble playing for the lively main tempo, which Pletnev convincingly pulls back from the reflective solo clarinet episodes... [In Poem of Ecstasy] Pletnev's relatively unhurried performance makes the two climaxes all the more powerful, Vladislav Lavrik's trumpet adding a certain masochistic edge with its cries of ecstatic pain."

BBC Music Magazine (November 2015)

"Mikhail Pletnev approaches this sprawling work with both an ear for a yearning phrase and an eye for huge musical architecture... Pletnev's is a very persuasive take on a repertoire most conductors seem shy of."

The Guardian (August 2015) [more]

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..."

Music Web (July 2015) [more]

"The [Poem of Ecstasy] possesses a voluptuousness and volatility that Pletnev conjures up here in a performance of truly ecstatic headiness... It is a testament to Pletnev's understanding of and thorough immersion in the manner of Scriabin's musical thinking that this performance is both fluid and taut, the music's colours gleaming and shimmering and with the prominent trumpet solos (Vladislav Lavrik) stirringly aspirational... [In the First Symphony], the music flows and surges with spontaneity and with clear definition of climax and repose... an outstanding tribute to Scriabin in his centenary year."

The Telegraph (July 2015) [more]

"Pletnev is fully attuned to the music's luscious sensuality and the superb musicians of the Russian National Orchestra readily respond with playing of marvellous tonal refulgence, captured in what, even by their own exalted standards, must surely be one of PENTATONE's finest 5.0 DSD recordings... The orchestral playing of the Russian National Orchestra is once again all one could ask for, and is crowned with a magnificent trumpet contribution from Vladislav Lavrik... It is very much to be hoped that this superb recording is a forerunner of a complete SACD cycle of the Scriabin Symphonies for PENTATONE." (June 2015) [more]

"...[an] overwhelming performance, as orgiastic as the composer might have wished."

Classical CD Choice (June 2015) [more]

What They’re Saying

"I saw the greatest orchestra in the world play Friday night. If you think that's hyperbole, ask anyone who was in Yardley Hall that night. The Russian National Orchestra is the Rolls-Royce of orchestras, no ordinary ensemble."

The Kansas City Star