La Poeme d’extase is a big, one-movement work in sonata form that combines the elements of a symphony and a tone poem. The work highlights Scriabin’s development and exploitation of new harmonic ideas including chord structures constructed on intervals of a fourth instead of a third. Coupled on this release is another Stokowski/Houston performance of Amirov’s Azerbaijan Mugan recorded on March 16, 1959 at the Houston Civic Center.
Amirov’s composition, masterfully performed by Stokowski and the Houston, exhibits the complicated system of mode scales and fixed melodic patterns characteristic of music of the East. The LP was cut directly from the 35mm magnetic film using a vintage Westrex 1551 tape machine, with specially built playback electronics that are vastly superior to any others used on these machines.