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Thread: Alexander Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy

  1. #1
    Super User Bernard's Avatar
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    Default Alexander Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy

    Artist: Zubin Mehta, conducting the L.A. Philharmonic
    Title: Alexander Scriabin - The Poem of Ecstasy
    Year of Release: 1967
    Record Label: London FFRR
    Genre: Classical

    I should start off by stating that I generally do not like modern composers doing abstract music, but I do like this piece of music. It is coupled on the LP with a piece by Schonberg, and I am not a fan of Schonberg. There are many recordings of this piece of music available on Amazon; I have listened only to this one, so there may well be better versions. I notice that Acoustic Sounds has the LP that I have for $45 (used) on Decca, not London. I listened to my copy just before posting this, and it sounded a bit dull.

    In this music the female is represented by a solo violin, and the male by a trumpet. I guess the title is self-explanatory (to me, anyway).

    The music starts off with a solo violin playing a plaintive theme, soon joined by other strings, then the trumpet. At the start the music is gently exploratory with neither set of instruments getting dominating. It then builds up very gradually, with the horns sometimes providing a driving rhythm.

    Just when you think the music is going to get going there is a relaxation period, where the violin comes across as forlorn. Then the trumpet starts going again, dominant. What you notice in general is that even though there are a few rests, the general tempo is increasing.

    Then the orchestra builds up until is sounds like it is developing into a crescendo, then just when you think it is almost there, there is a brief rest with the violin appearing again solo. Soon after is the real climax, with the organ joining in. The liner notes state, "The massive orchestra includes quadruple woodwinds, eight horns, five trumpets, two harps and an organ, and the final C major chord is probably the loudest in all music".

    Definitely worth a listen.
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  2. #2
    Forum Moderator MiTT's Avatar
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    So it's a work about SEX!?!?!

    Another great write up Bernard, all that talk about the orchestra joining in, and climax's and even Organs

    I have not heard this, but shall be seeking it out before long!
    MiTT
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    Forum Administrator twich54's Avatar
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    Oh my ! Bernard I was thinking the same thing as Tim !

    We may have to give this review a "PG-13" rating.
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  4. #4
    Super User Bernard's Avatar
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    Tim/Dave,

    Does "Ecstasy" refer to anything other than sex?

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    Super User User211's Avatar
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    Nooooo - it's sex AND drugs, or don't you have ecstasy in the good ole US of A?

    Quote Ian Dury and the Blockheads - "Sex, and drugs and rock'n'roll - is all my brain and body needs. Sex and drugs and rock'n'roll - very good indeed!".

    Somehow, though, sex and drugs and classical just doesn't have the same ring to it

    Sorry Bernard - hey, I might even give it a try! If Napster has it, that is...

  6. #6
    Super User Bernard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by User211 View Post
    Nooooo - it's sex AND drugs, or don't you have ecstasy in the good ole US of A?
    Justin, I don't live in "the good ole US of A" ! But yes, we do have ecstasy (the drug) in Canada. The other ecstasy too, of course !

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