Of all the things I never knew I needed, the complete works of Alexander Scriabin come somewhere near the top, along with the collected speeches of Ronald Reagan and the unexpurgated letters of the last three Popes. Scriabin (1872-1915) was a composer of great imagination and very little self-restraint. His short piano pieces, the most effective since Chopin’s, can nail your ear to the wall; his symphonic ramblings make eternity seem short.
Those were my first thoughts when the box landed with 18 CDs, and a massive claim on my time.
But – what do you know? – the music can become hypnotic. If you let it.
Mr & Mrs Scriabin invite us to a picnic lunch. Bring your own boxed set.