‘The music of Alexander Scriabin is inspiring fascinated new audiences today, in addition to those who have always loved his singular voice. His Symphony No. 2 and The Poem of Ecstasy illustrate the composer’s unique blending of Russian romanticism with the intoxicating fragrance of French Impressionism.
Influenced by the composer’s gift of synesthesia (his ability to actually see musical pitches and keys as specific colours), these pieces are absolutely incandescent – glowing with tonal shades and nuance and extravagant harmonic richness. The musical mysticism and intensely personal spirituality that became the central forces of Scriabin’s life are beautifully expressed in these sublime works.’
– JoAnn Falletta
Scriabin composed most of his single-movement fourth symphony The Poem of Ecstasy between 1905 and 1908 in Italy and France. He originally intended it to be called Poème orgiaque (‘Orgiastic Poem’) with its unprecedented raw sensuality and overpowering aesthetic, taking chromaticism beyond even Wagnerian voluptuousness. His earlier Symphony No. 2 in C minor adopts César Franck’s cyclical ideas to which Scriabin layered sweeping climaxes, majestic intensity and rich orchestral colour that enliven its five movements with ceaseless invention.