Alexandre Scriabin is a truly curious character and his music has not stopped raising many questions. What did he want to demonstrate with his Poem of Ecstasy? The score, requiring a very large orchestra, hovers between a mysticism imbued with theosophy and torrid eroticism.
Furtwängler, and this was his sole incursion into this composer’s territory, programmed the work in his second concert of his very first season as Nikisch’s successor at the head of the Philharmonic Concerts of Berlin. However, so as to reassure his faithful audience of subscribers, he took good care to follow it with Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Brahms’ Second Symphony. And he hired one of the foremost piano greats at this time, Carl Friedberg (photo).