Rachmaninov soothes afte darkness of Scriabin

Classic FM's Jane Jones is overwhelmed by Scriabin's overly ambitious Symphony No.1 but finds solace in Rachmaninov’s six choruses

Composer: Scriabin; Rachmaninov
Repertoire: Symphony No.1 (Scriabin); Six Choruses (Rachmaninov)
Artists: Russian State SO & Capella/Valery Polyansky
Rating:   2/5 
Genre: Orchestral
Label: Chandos CHAN 103113

The idealistic dreams of youth, the glorification of art through music and personal conviction merge together in this long, overly ambitious first symphony from Scriabin. Not entirely successful, it was declared unperformable by critics. The overall sombre mood isn’t lifted by the chorale finale, although the introduction of voices offers some relief to the grandiose tone. Rachmaninov’s six choruses, here in a premiere recording, offer a prize to those who persevere.