Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

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Lance
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Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by Lance » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:47 am

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Decca 478 8168

Scriabin's Complete Works on 18 CDs arrived today. There are many new recordings in the box that were recorded just for this edition. The list of participants includes Aimared, Ashkenazy, Fergus-Thompson, Gergiev, Grosvenor, Horowitz [!], Kissin, Lisitsa, Maazel, Pogorelich, Richter, Szidon, and Trifonov. Near as I can find in a quick search, all are either Decca or DGG original recordings. In one instance, I see Decca borrowed at least one piece from ASV-England.

Having only auditioned some of the earliest solo piano music, I was pleasantly surprised. Of all the Russian composers, Scriabin [1872-1915] was not the highest on my list for reasons I still cannot explain. The composer only lived until he was 42, and like Beethoven, his work seems to be divided into three segments. The first period (1880s to about 1903) has the most interest for me since it is more attached to the late Romantic period. His Mazurkas actually sound like Mazurkas, and tend to be more Chopinesque in style. That is to say: less harmonic distortion.

If you have this beautiful boxed set (including booklet with all documentation and added information), you probably won't need to think about buying anything by Scriabin again. Just in a few days, I see Amazon's price has gone up about 30%. Personally, think they made a mistake in originally pricing the set.

Besides the MUSIC, another good reason for wanting the set is because of the chosen artists who provide the music.

By the way, the 18th disc is called a "bonus disc", which offers Scriabin's music across the generations including performances by legendary pianists and artists of the younger generation.
Lance G. Hill
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John F
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Re: Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by John F » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:00 am

Lance wrote:If you have this beautiful boxed set (including booklet with all documentation and added information), you probably won't need to think about buying anything by Scriabin again.
On the other hand, if you're well stocked with recordings by Sofronitsky, Horowitz, and Richter, plus Scriabin's piano rolls, you may not need to think about buying that set. :mrgreen:

It's interesting that Decca chose to go beyond a bloc reissue of what it already had, and made recordings of Scriabin's lesser known or unknown piano music with the likes of Almared, Grosvenor, and Fergus-Thompson, whoever they are. I suppose Lisitska and Trifonov couldn't be talked into learning all the early stuff just to record it.

Here's Scriabin playing his Etude Op.8 No.12 on a 1910 Welte-Mignon roll, a few years before his death. There's lots more. Subject to the limitations of Welte's primitive technology, this convinces me as a performance.

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Re: Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by Mookalafalas » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:19 am

Thanks for the heads up, Lance. I've been a bit curious about this box.
I went back to the first volume of Rubinstein's autobiography. He has an anecdote about being introduced to Scriabin by his (Rubinstein's) manager, who knew Rubinstein was a fan. Scriabin asked Rubinstein out for a cup of tea. However, when Scriabin asked R. who is favorite composer was, and R. replied "Brahms", Scriabin stormed out in a rage. Rubinstein was rather pissed off, but continued to play and admire Scriabin's music. They met again later, and Scriabin was a bit more reasonable.
Call me Al (cuz its my name)

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Re: Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by barney » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:45 am

I hope this box comes my way. Universal send me a lot, but not everything. I've just done a feature on the Decca Mono 1944-56 set, and next am doing one on Boulez 90th anniversary set.
I've come late to Scriabin, but like him very much.
Grosvenor, if it's Benjamin, is a young English pianist who has had a meteoric rise and I'd love to hear his Scriabin.

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Re: Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by SONNET CLV » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:11 pm

I received the set, which I ordered on the strength of the box claiming to be "complete". I have a bit of the "standard classics" of Scriabin in my collection, and a couple versions of the piano sonatas which I tend to enjoy, but there seems to be music here worth exploring further, if only on days when I'm feeling especially mystical or synesthetic.

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Re: Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by Lance » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:41 pm

Indeed, these boxes require a lot of listening time. If you're retired (at least in part), it will be helpful. There was much in this box that I didn't know. Lisitsa, of course, is a much welcome inclusion given her background and enormous musicality not to mention virtuosity. Ashkenazy, too, is in excellent form. I have never, personally, been enamoured of Scriabin's piano sonatas, regardless of who plays them with the exception, lately, of Anatol Ugorski, who seems to bring special and highly individual qualities to this music that perks up the ears. Of all the Russian composers, Scriabin was low on my list ... simply couldn't figure him out. But I'm being convinced more and more! Horowitz nor Sofronitsky did much for me with their interpretations, nor did Laredo, Gilels, Richter and quite a few others, all pianists I adore.
SONNET CLV wrote:I received the set, which I ordered on the strength of the box claiming to be "complete". I have a bit of the "standard classics" of Scriabin in my collection, and a couple versions of the piano sonatas which I tend to enjoy, but there seems to be music here worth exploring further, if only on days when I'm feeling especially mystical or synesthetic.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by Lance » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:35 pm

I'm surprised more people didn't comment on this SCRIABIN box. Does the composer fit into your listening habits much? I have very much enjoyed picking through this-and-that in the box.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by John F » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:50 am

Lance wrote:Does the composer fit into your listening habits much?
Briefly, no.
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Re: Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by barney » Sat Jul 11, 2015 5:55 pm

Lance wrote:I'm surprised more people didn't comment on this SCRIABIN box. Does the composer fit into your listening habits much? I have very much enjoyed picking through this-and-that in the box.
Until I got this box, I would have agreed with JohnF. Now I agree with you. I have been very impressed. Some of the early stuff is delightful. Yes, it's derivative of Chopin, but one could choose worse. then his own personality takes over more and more, and the music is fascinating. I wrote a feature on him/the set for the Sydney Morning Herald.

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Re: Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by piston » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:07 pm

I have his complete piano works, his orchestral works too, but find myself not especially drawn to them these days. If the point is to follow Chopin's influence, at the piano, into the late 19th century, then I pick Fauré's charm, in his Nocturnes and Barcarolles, over Scriabin. With Fauré's piano works, one gets the additional bonus of listening to R. Schumann's influence and some Liszt too.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by barney » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:15 pm

piston wrote:I have his complete piano works, his orchestral works too, but find myself not especially drawn to them these days. If the point is to follow Chopin's influence, at the piano, into the late 19th century, then I pick Fauré's charm, in his Nocturnes and Barcarolles, over Scriabin. With Fauré's piano works, one gets the additional bonus of listening to R. Schumann's influence and some Liszt too.
Good point. I don't know Faure's piano music nearly well enough. Something time can fix.

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Re: Decca's Scriabin's Complete Works on Decca ...

Post by RebLem » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:24 am

Lance wrote:I'm surprised more people didn't comment on this SCRIABIN box. Does the composer fit into your listening habits much? I have very much enjoyed picking through this-and-that in the box.
I have it. I haven't listened to any of it yet, and its at the bottom of one of the tallest of my seven stacks of CDs, so it will be a long time before I get to it.
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