C0220. RICCARDO MUTI Cond. Philadelphia Orch.: Symphonies 1, 2 & 3; Le Poeme de l'extase; Prometheus (all Scriabin). (Germany) 3-EMI 54251, recorded 1986-91. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 077775425123
“Born in Naples Italy in 1941, Riccardo Muti was a pupil of Arturo Votti and Nino Rota. Votti's teacher was none other than the great Arturo Toscanini. With this rich heritage of great conductors and creators of music, the young Maestro Muti had much to live up to. Many awards, recordings, and directorships later, I would say Riccardo Muti has done the tradition he was steeped in proudly.
This EMI three disc set of Scriabin's orchestral works is an awe inspiring example of the Philadelphia Orchestra in peak form, led by a great conductor. Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy would be proud to hear them sounding as glorious as they do in these recordings. Indeed, this set has classic status that is most well-deserved.
The sound of the strings are clearly delineated and soar to the heavens! These renderings contain heaps of atmosphere and passion. The other sections of the orchestra match the strings with fervent, blissful richness. This kaleidiscopic orchestral splendor is as French as it is Russian. Think of Debussy with more direct and exotic tonality with more sensual dramatic indulgence and massive, carefully built climaxes. One can detect the Austro-German traditions influence on the music as well. In the final movement of Symphony #1, the chorus and soloists shine brightly. Scriabin's aim was to ‘blend philosophy and religion in an indivisible whole to form a new gospel, which will replace the old gospel we have outlived’. But alas, ‘Mankind is not yet ready for it, for he must be preached to and led along new paths’.
Wildly ambitious, self-aggrandising and heady beyond imagination, these wonderful performances are a perfect example of Alexander Scriabin's artistic vision.
If there were a six star rating I would give it for this set. It is an absolute classic. Bravo to the Philadelphia Orchestra and Riccardo Muti!”
- K.J. McGilp