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Difficulty (Explanation)
Other titles of this difficulty
Piano Sonata (Sonate-Fantaisie) no. 2 g sharp minor op. 19
8 difficult

About the Composer


Alexander Skrjabin

Russian composer and pianist. The focal point of his oeuvre is his extremely unique piano music; in addition, he wrote important orchestral works.

1872Born in Moscow on January 6, the son of a pianist (his mother); she died in 1872.
1888–92Piano studies at the Moscow Conservatory
1888–96Twenty-four Preludes, Op. 11, containing all the hallmarks of Scriabin’s early period: broad, ornamental cantilenas underpinned by figurations and arpeggios in the style of Chopin, complex rhythmic structure from polyrhythms and syncopations.
1892–1913Composition of ten piano sonatas.
1896Travels to Paris, Vienna, Rome.
1897Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor, Op. 20, in the style of Chopin.
1897–1909/10He primarily composes orchestral pieces, including the major works “Le Poème de l’extase” (“The Poem of Ecstasy”) for large orchestra (1905–07), Op. 54, and “Prométhée ou Le Poème du feu” (“Prometheus or The Poem of Fire,” 1908–10); orientation toward Liszt and Wagner; programmatic music with occasional annotations in the musical score, incorporation of philosophical notions into his compositions, which are defined by various philosophical movements from around the turn of the century. Unusual intervals, harmonically at the edge of tonality.
1899–1904Composition of his three symphonies, Opp. 26, 29, and 43.
1904He resides in Switzerland.
1906Invitation to the United States.
1910Return to Russia.
1908–10“Prométhée ou Le Poème du feu” for piano, orchestra, organ, choir, and clavier à lumière, Op. 60: enrichment of musical performance through plays of light. 1911–14, piano compositions, Opp. 61–74, with avant-garde harmonies.
1913Beginning of the multisensory “Acte préalable” (“Prefatory Action”), which is never completed.
1915Death in Moscow on April 27.

© 2003, 2010 Philipp Reclam jun. GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart

About the Authors

Valentina Rubcova (Editor)

Valentina Rubcova holds a doctorate in musicology, is editor-in-chief of the Moscow music publishing house “Muzyka – P. Jurgenson Publishing House” and deputy head of research at the Scriabin Memorial Museum Moscow.


Michael Schneidt (Fingering)

Michael Schneidt, born in Munich, received his piano education at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, studying with Hugo Steurer and Klaus Schilde. He then completed his artistic state examination with distinction as well as his master-class diploma. He continued his education on a grant from the DAAD with Alessandro Specchi in Florence, also taking master-classes with Paul Badura-Skoda and Bruno Leonardo Gelber. Michael Schneidt has been a prize-winner at international piano competitions (1st prize Viotti-Valsesia, Italy), has done radio and TV broadcasts and also made CD recordings; he has also premiered many contemporary piano works. He has performed in Europe (e.g. at the Prague Spring International Music Festival and at the German Mozart Festival), in Japan and in South America.

Michael Schneidt is Professor of Piano at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. He has given master-classes in Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Japan, and is from time to time a member of the jury at music competitions.