Alexander Scriabin's Grand Visions

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Long before John Lennon got himself into hot water by declaring the Beatles to be more popular than Jesus, Alexander Scriabin boasted to his friends that he was the Messiah. As he got older, Scriabin’s messianic vision became grander and grander: he began planning for a multimedia extravaganza at the foothills of the Himalayas to unite all inhabitants of the earth with his music.

On this episode of the Great Russian Piano Tradition, host David Dubal explores Scriabin’s final years, his turn toward spirituality and the impact of his music in Russia and beyond. We hear the Nocturne in D-flat "for the left hand" that made him a star in New York, as well as etudes that Vladimir Horowitz performed in his recital program for years. This episode also includes two spectacular archival performances of Scriabin: one by Sergei Rachmaninoff and another by the composer himself.

Program playlist:

Alexander Scriabin: Andante from Piano Sonata No. 3 in F sharp minor, Op. 23
Vladimir Sofronitsky
Philips

Alexander Scriabin: Nocturne in D flat "for the left hand", Op. 9 No. 2
Alexis Weissenberg
Philips

Alexander Scriabin: Piano Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor Op. 19
Samuel Feinberg
Naxos

Alexander Scriabin: Prelude Op. 15 No. 4: Andantino
Evgeny Kissin
RCA Red Seal

Alexander Scriabin: Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 2 No. 1
Vladimir Horowitz
Sony

Alexander Scriabin: Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 42 No. 5
Vladimir Horowitz
RCA Victor

Alexander Scriabin: Mazurka Op. 40 No. 1
Alexander Goldenweiser
Dante

Alexander Scriabin: Prelude in F sharp minor, Op. 11 No. 8
Sergei Rachmaninoff
RCA Gold Seal

Alexander Scriabin: Deux Danses, Op. 73
Vladimir Sofronitsky
Philips

Alexander Scriabin: Etude in D sharp minor Op. 8 No. 12
Alexander Scriabin
Pierian