Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
This charming, dusty house-museum in Moscow is Alexander Scriabin’s (1872-1915) last apartment, where he died of blood poisoning in 1915. Visitors are scarce because foreign tourist groups are not usually brought here. The rooms are arranged and furnished just as they were when Scriabin lived here. Downstairs there’s a concert hall where accomplished young musicians perform his music, usually on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
Scriabin - Prelude Op. 11 No. 10
No composer has had more scorn heaped or greater love bestowed…
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia on Alexander Scriabin
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Scriabin - Prelude Op. 11 No. 1
Keys arranged in a circle of fifths in order to show the spectral relationship.
Though Scriabin’s works are often considered to be influenced by synesthesia, a condition wherein one experiences sensation in one sense in response to stimulus in another, it is doubted that he actually experienced this. His colour system, unlike most synesthetic experience, accords with the circle of fifths: it was a thought-out system based on Sir Isaac Newton’s Opticks. Note that Scriabin did not, for his theory, recognize a difference between a major and a minor tonality of the same name (for example: c-minor and C-Major). Indeed, influenced also by the doctrines of theosophy, he developed his system of synesthesia toward what would have been a pioneering multimedia performance: his unrealized magnum opus Mysterium was to have been a grand week-long performance including music, scent, dance, and light in the foothills of the Himalayas Mountains that was somehow to bring about the dissolution of the world in bliss.
Scriabin’s original colour keyboard, with its associated turntable of coloured lamps, is preserved in his apartment near the Arbat in Moscow, which is now a museum dedicated to his life and works.
Scriabin - Symphony No. 5 Op. 60 (Prometheus, Poem of Fire)
Performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra
Conducted by Ricardo Muti
Saturday, November 26, 2011
In music the mystic chord or Prometheus chord is a complex six-note chord, scale, or pitch collection, which loosely serves as the harmonic and melodic basis for some of the later pieces by Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. Scriabin, however, did not use the chord directly but rather derived material from its transpositions.
It consists of the pitch classes: C, F♯, B♭, E, A, D. This is often interpreted as a quartal hexachord consisting of an augmented fourth, diminished fourth, augmented fourth, and two perfect fourths. However, the chord may be spelled in a variety of ways, and it is related to other pitch collections.
Scriabin, piano, and small hands
Scriabin became a noted pianist despite his small hands, which could barely grasp a ninth. Feeling challenged by Josef Lhévinne, he damaged his right hand while practicing Franz Liszt’s Réminiscences de Don Juan and Mily Balakirev’s Islamey. His doctor said he would never recover, and he wrote his first large-scale masterpiece, his Piano Sonata No. 1 (the F minor sonata), as a “cry against God, against fate.” It was his third sonata to be written, but the first to which he gave an opus number (his second was condensed and released as the Allegro Appassionato, Op. 4). He eventually regained the use of his hand.
Scriabin - Piano Concerto Op. 20 (complete)
Performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy
Conducted by Lorin Maazel
Accarezzevole (Italian: “Fawningly”) is a music term that is marked on sheet music to indicate a piece is to be played in an expressive and caressing manner. Alexander Scriabin was one of the few composers to use this term in his music.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin (6 January 1872 [O.S. 25 December 1871] – 27 April [O.S. 14 April] 1915) was a Russian composer and pianist who initially developed a lyrical and idiosyncratic tonal language inspired by the music of Frédéric Chopin. Quite independent of the innovations of Arnold Schoenberg, Scriabin developed an increasingly atonal musical system, accorded to mysticism, that presaged twelve-tone composition and other serial music. The first major example of this is the 5th piano sonata of 1907, although the process of innovation was somewhat gradual. He may be considered to be the main Russian Symbolist composer.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
timetochangenamequick asked: Hi, I really love your blog. Could you maybe post somethings about Alexander Scriabin? I find him really interesting and I'd love to learn more about him.
Child prodigy, wins second place gold medal in composition in 1892 at the Moscow Conservatory (first went to Rachmaninoff), influenced by Nietzsche’s writings, in 1905 becomes a believer in theosophy, composes very quickly and easily, and died without starting Mysterium, which was to be his magnum opus.
Early works were influenced heavily by Chopin (strong right-hand melody and extended left-hand arpeggios, chromatic accompaniment, and slow harmonic rhythm) Transitional works were of mystical influence (richer harmonic language and freer rhythm and phrases) Mature Works were amorphous in harmony and form (cyclic structure through use of single motive or theme, sororities built on fourths and/or interlocking tritones, mystic chord: C F# Bb E A D, and more atonal than any other Russian composer of his generation)
Very good suggestion! I will start developing posts for this very interesting Russian! And thank you for your very kind words!
Scriabin - Fragilite Op. 51 No. 1