Piano Concerto (Scriabin)

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Klavierkonzert mit Alexander Skrjabin unter Leitung von Sergei Kussewitzky by Robert Sterl (1910), Galerie Neue Meister, Dresden.

The Piano Concerto in F sharp minor, Op. 20, is an early work of the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin (1872–1915). Written in 1896, when he was 24, it was his first work for orchestra and the only concerto he composed. Scriabin completed the concerto in only a few days in the fall of 1896, but did not finish the orchestration until the following May (and only after constant urging by his publisher and patron Mitrofan Belyayev). Belyayev paid the composer 600 rubles (roughly $10,000 in current USD); it premiered in October 1897 and was finally published in 1898.


The work consists of three movements, typically lasting about 28 minutes in total:


The main theme is introduced by the piano and then transferred to the orchestra while the piano accompanies in octaves.


The second movement begins in the key of F-sharp major which was for Scriabin "a ‘bright blue’ mystic key".[1] It is in the form of theme and variations. The orchestra introduces the theme. The piano enters with the first variation, accompanying the orchestra's theme with arpeggios. The second variation is faster, marked allegro scherzando. The third variation is a slow funeral march. The fourth variation is marked allegretto and features intricate ornamentation; the clarinet introduces the melody, and interweaves counterpoint with the soloist. The movement ends with return of the theme to the orchestra, almost identical to the first variation.

Allegro moderato[edit]

This movement also develops material from the first movement. The first theme is condensed into the first two bars followed by a virtuosic arpeggio.


Pianist Orchestra Conductor Record Company Year of Recording Format
Heinrich Neuhaus All-Union Radio Orchestra Nikolai Golovanov Russian Disc 1946 CD
Solomon Cutner Philharmonia Orchestra Issay Dobrowen EMI 1949 CD
Samuil Feinberg USSR State TV and Radio Symphony Orchestra Alexander Gauk Brilliant Classics 1950 CD
Roland Pöntinen Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra Leif Segerstam BIS Records 1989 CD
Vladimir Ashkenazy London Philharmonic Orchestra Lorin Maazel Decca 1990 CD
Aleksey Nasedkin USSR State Symphony Orchestra Evgeny Svetlanov Melodiya 1990 CD
Gerhard Oppitz Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra Dmitri Kitaenko RCA 1993 CD
Nikolai Demidenko BBC Symphony Orchestra Alexander Lazarev Hyperion Records 1993 CD
Michael Ponti Hamburg Symphony Orchestra Hans Drewanz Turnabout 1994 CD
Garrick Ohlsson Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Libor Pesek Supraphon 1996 CD
Arkady Sevidov Russian Philharmonic Orchestra Constantin Krimets Arte Nova 1996 CD
Konstantin Scherbakov Moscow Symphony Orchestra Igor Golovchin Naxos Records 1996 CD
Eugeni Mikhailov State Symphony Orchestra Vladimir Ponkin Vista Vera 1996 CD
Viktoria Postnikova Residentie Orchestra (The Hague) Gennady Rozhdestvensky Chandos 1998 CD
Anatol Ugorski Chicago Symphony Orchestra Pierre Boulez Deutsche Grammophon 1999 CD
Roger Woodward Sydney Symphony Orchestra Edo de Waart ABC Classics 1999 CD
Andrei Korobeinikov Academic Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg Philharmony Mikhail Snitko Olympia Records 2007 CD
Yevgeny Sudbin Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra Andrew Litton BIS Records 2014 SACD
Kirill Gerstein Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra Vasily Petrenko Lawo Classics 2017 CD


  1. ^ Ates Orga. "Scriabin & Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos". Hyperion Records. Retrieved 3 December 2014.

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