Barber, Sibelius, & Scriabin: One Movement Symphonies / Stern, Kansas City Symphony

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Reference Recordings proudly presents a unique album of one movement symphonies composed by Barber, Sibelius and Scriabin, in an outstanding interpretation from Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony. The album was produced by David Frost, seven-time winner of the Classical Producer of the Year GRAMMY® award. It was recorded by RR’s engineering team, comprised of GRAMMY®-winning engineer and Technical Director Keith O. Johnson, and multi-GRAMMY® nominated engineer Sean Martin. Music Director Michael Stern is in his second decade with the Kansas City Symphony, hailed for its remarkable artistic ascent, original programming, organizational development and stability, as well as the extraordinary growth of its varied audiences since his tenure began. The Kansas City Symphony has a vision to transform hearts, minds and its community through the power of symphonic music.


With superb engineering, even listeners quite familiar with the Sibelius Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105, and Scriabin's Le poème de l'extase, Op. 54, are going to hear marvelous little details like the small motives that kick Sibelius' organic evolution, or the organ that underlies Scriabin's shimmering evocations of ecstasy. The Barber First Symphony, Op. 9, is an early work not often played, and Stern and Johnson unpack its busy brass writing effectively. The concept of the album is also interesting. Not everyone would accept the categorization of Le poème de l'extase as a symphony, but Stern is on strong enough ground; Scriabin himself sometimes called it his Fourth Symphony. None of the pieces is a true symphony, but each bids a different kind of farewell to the grand era of the symphony, and the works speak to each other in unexpected ways. The Kansas City Symphony musicians play for all they are worth, and lovers of early 20th century orchestral music will find this a stimulating item. For audiophiles, it's a must.

– (James Manheim)

Product Description:

  • Release Date: May 28, 2021

  • Catalog Number: RR-149

  • UPC: 030911114923

  • Label: Reference Recordings

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Alexander Scriabin, Jean Sibelius, Samuel Barber

  • Conductor: Michael Stern

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Kansas City Symphony


  1. First Symphony (In One Movement), Op. 9

    Composer: Samuel Barber

    Ensemble: Kansas City Symphony

    Conductor: Michael Stern

  2. Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 105

    Composer: Jean Sibelius

    Ensemble: Kansas City Symphony

  3. The Poem of Ecstasy, Op. 54

    Composer: Alexander Scriabin

    Ensemble: Kansas City Symphony

    Performer: Michael Stern

    Conductor: Michael Stern