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Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto No. 4 Op. 40 (Original 1926 version) / Scriabin: Prometheus

Alain Lefèvre , Kent Nagano , Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal Audio CD

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In Moscow, in the years before World War I and the Russian revolution, there were two opposing, and apparently irreconcilable, musical factions. Rachmaninov was given the title of pianist of the bourgeoisie, while leftist students and theosophical movements championed Scriabin. The former was considered the successor to Tchaïkovsky, the latter, too avant-gardist. Fortunately, these squabbles in no way affected the friendship between the two composers. After Scriabin’s death in 1915, Rachmaninov played his works during a tour of major provincial towns as a way of financially assisting his widow, who was threatened with expulsion. Each in his own way, these two artists rejected the dictums of romanticism and embraced modernity, and this recording serves as a sort of bridge between them. Its two colossal works place orchestra, conductor and soloist on equal footings; and both require a meticulous reading of the score, a thorough understanding of its architecture, and flawless rhythmic precision: the original version of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Scriabin’sPrometheus: The Poem of Fire.

À Moscou, à l'aube de la première guerre mondiale et de la révolution russe, deux factions musicales s'opposaient, en apparence irréconciliables. Rachmaninov se voyait attribuer le titre de pianiste de la bourgeoisie, pendant qu'étudiants de gauche et mouvements théosophiques portaient Scriabine aux nues. On considérait le premier héritier de Tchaïkovski, le second trop avant-gardiste. Pont entre ces artistes qui, chacun à leur manière, ont repoussé les diktats du romantisme et plongé dans la modernité. Le présent enregistrement propose deux pages colossales, mettant en valeur de façon indissociable, orchestre, chef et soliste, qui exigent lecture méticuleuse, compréhension de l'architecture et précision rythmique sans faille : le Quatrième Concerto pour piano de Rachmaninov dans sa version originale et Prométhée ou le poème de feu de Scriabine.


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