Monday, July 13, 2015

Ruth Laredo Plays Scriabin (1970)

American pianist Ruth Laredo achieved considerable prominence as a concert pianist in s and 1980s and has remained active in her career into the new century. Her recordings of Rachmaninov and Scriabin's piano works were considered milestones by some and in the case of the latter composer, may well have been instrumental in the revival of his piano music in the last decades of the twentieth century. Ruth Laredo (maiden name Meckler) showed unusual musical talent as a child. She later enrolled at the Curtis Institute, where she studied under Rudolf Serkin. Her first performance with an orchestra provided her with instant credentials in the classical world : she appeared in 1962 at Carnegie Hall with Leopold Stokowski conducting the American Symphony Orchestra. She would later take part in another high-profile debut when she appeared with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra led by Pierre Boulez. She has had many stunning concert successes in the U.S. and Europe throughout her career, but some will contend her greatest contributions have come in the recording studio. With the release in 1971 of LP recordings of etudes, preludes, and the complete sonatas of Alexander Scriabin, Laredo drew much critical acclaim, not only for her enlightening performances, but for her bold choice to turn her attention to this then rather-neglected corner of the repertory. An even more important recording project followed : in 1975, CBS Masterworks released the first in a series of seven LPs by Laredo, devoted to the complete solo piano music of Sergey Rachmaninov. By 1981, the series was complete, giving Laredo the distinction of being the first pianist to have conquered this Mount Everest. Moreover, critical response was generally very favorable and the effort helped Laredo achieve nearly front-rank standing among the world's piano virtuosos. While she continues to record, mostly with smaller labels and focusing on the music of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and many others, Laredo has expanded her career to include other interests. She wrote a column for Piano Today magazine, occasionally appeared as a critic on New York's WQXR radio's First Hearing, and served as a correspondent on NPR's Morning Edition. In July 1996, Laredo turned her attention to jazz, giving a concert with jazz pianists Marian McPartland and Dick Hyman at New York's 92nd St. Y. She also appeared in Woody Allen's Small Time Crooks (2000), where she is shown giving a recital playing Rachmaninov. Early in her career, Laredo married the well-known violinist Jaime Laredo. Their union produced a daughter, Jennifer. Ruth Laredo has long been a resident of New York City.
Robert Cummings

Source :

Ruth Laredo
Alexander Scriabin

The Complete Piano Sonatas


Cd. 1

Piano Sonata n° 1 in F Minor, Op. 6
1 I. Allegro con fuoco  7:46
2 II. Andante  4:30
3 III. Presto  3:26
4 IV. Funèbre  4:53

5 Etude for piano in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 2 n° 1 2:58

Piano Sonata n° 2 in G-Sharp Minor "Sonata-Fantasy", Op. 19
6 Andante  7:26
7 Presto  3:21

Eight Etudes for piano, Op. 42
8 N° 1 in D-Flat Major. Presto  1:52
9 N° 2 in F-Sharp Minor  1:14
10 N° 3 in F-Sharp Major. Prestissimo  0:53
11 N° 4 in F-Sharp Major. Andante 1:40
12 N° 5 in C-Sharp Minor. Affanato  2:47
13 N° 6 in D-Flat Major. Esaltato  1:38
14 N° 7 in F Minor. Agitato  0:56
15 N° 8  in E-Flat Major. Allegro  2:11

Piano Sonata n° 3 in F-Sharp Minor "Etats d'âme", Op. 23
16 I. Drammatico  1:52
17 II. Allegretto  2:30
18 III. Andante  4:46
19 IV. Presto con fuoco  5:48

Piano Sonata n° 4 in F-Sharp Major, Op. 30
20 Andante  2:58
21  Prestissimo volando  5:01


Cd. 2

1 Piano Sonata n° 5 in F-Sharp major, Op. 53  10:39
"Poem of Ecstasy"
Allegro. Impetusoso. Con stravaganza

2 Piano Sonata n° 6, Op. 62  12:48
 Modéré. Mystérieux, concentré

Two Pieces, Op. 57
3 Désir  1:19
4 Caresse dansée  1:24

5 Piano Sonata7 "White Mass", Op. 64  11:28

6 Piano Sonata n° 8, Op. 66  14:42

7 Piano Sonata9 "Black Mass", Op. 68  7:19
Moderato quasi andante. Légendaire

8 Piano Sonata10 "Trill", Op. 70  13:26
Moderato. Très doux et pur 

9 Vers la flamme, poème for piano, Op. 72  4:29


Ruth Laredo - p

Recorded at Saint Paul's Chapel, Columbia University, New York City ; 1970


Ricky said...

that scriabin was one dapper s.o.b., indeed.

also, thanks very much! laredo always comes up when people mention scriabin but i've never heard her.

neil said...

I first heard Scriabin (completely unknown to me) in 1966, courtesy of Aspen/The Magazine in a Box, Vol1, No. 2.
It included a 'floppy' disc (long before floppy disks!) of Tenth Sonata played by Daniel Kunin, recorded at Steinway Hall.
Thank you so much for keeping his music in the public eye...

Anonymous said...

Thank you, wonderful music.

dreadco said...

Hi, can you repost this album?
I want to compare this with Hamelin's version. Thank you!

Melanchthon said...



Gaetano Bevilacqua said...

Thank you, Mel.

Bradley Lehman said...

Hello, could you please re-upload this? All the zippy links are dead. Thanks!