Rhinegold

Colin Clarke

Scriabin: Piano Concerto & Symphony No 2

8:00, 22nd February 2018

Kirill Gerstein (pf), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Vassily Petrenko
Lawo Classics LWC1139 77 mins
*****

Scriabin’s piano concerto is an early work (1896). A clear product of the romantic piano concerto tradition, it seems to speak a similar language as Rachmaninov but with further nods to Chopin in particular. Its earlier recordings featured great pianists (Neuhaus, Solomon) but it seems to have fallen out of favour. This is a pity, and Gerstein makes a strong case for it, his fluent technique revelling in the post-Chopinesque arabesques. The fragrant harmonies alongside the achingly romantic melodies propel the first movement inexorably; the central Andante takes us to a place of great beauty, while holding a most intriguing digression. Vasily Petrenko directs a taut and noble performance of Scriabin’s second symphony, recorded in beautiful sound in the Oslo Concert Hall. An excellent disc.

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