Monday, April 9, 2012

Alexander Scriabin: Complete Chronological Catalogue on Spotify

The pianist Athur Rubinstein recalled a visit to a café with Alexander Scriabin:

"Who is your favourite composer?" he asked with the condescending smile of the great master who knows the answer. When I answered without hesitation, "Brahms", he banged his fist on the table. "What, what?" he screamed. "How can you like this terrible composer and me at the same time? When I was your age I was a Chopinist, later I became a Wagnerite, but now I can only be a Scriabinist!" And, quite enraged, he took his hat and ran out of the café, leaving me stunned by this scene and with the bill to pay.

- Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years

Scriabin is the Russian counterpart of Chopin, though much darker and outlandish even by Russian standard. This playlist is a collection of his complete compositions, arranged (mostly) in chronological order: first opus 1 to 74; then a few works without opus number (including the unfinished Mysterium); at the end I also put in four preludes by Scriabin's son, Julian, composed before drowning at the age of 11.

The playlist features  more than 50 pianist, from Vladimir Sofronitsky (played at the composer's piano in Scriabin museum) to Vladimir Horowitz (Scriabin heard the then 11-year-old pianist play and had an enthusiastic reaction).

Get this collection in one Spotify playlist here: Alexander Scriabin: Complete Chronological Catalogue (262 tracks, total time: 16 hours) Ctrl (CMD) + G to browse in album view. You can also hear Scriabin's own piano roll recordings in the previous Composer As Pianist playlist.


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