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
Purchase via RNO Pentatone Music iTunes


MusicWeb Recording of the Month

Telegraph: Best Classical Albums, 2015


The Telegraph

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

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.

BBC Music Magazine

[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.

The Guardian

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.

Classical CD Choice

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

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.

Music Web

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...

What They’re Saying

"Like everything else about how Pletnev runs this orchestra, he takes nothing for granted... And also like everything else about this remarkable organization, he makes it seem not just new but newly worthwhile."

Los Angeles Times