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Piano Sonata no. 7 op. 64
9 difficult

PREFACE

Alexander Skryabin (1872–1915) composed his sixth through tenth piano sonatas between 1911 and 1913. These late works are striking for their underlying mood of mysticism. Skryabin’s deep study of theosophy in the final years of his life led him to plan the creation of a “Gesamtkunstwerk” in which music, poetry, mime, dance, light, color, architecture, and even aromas would... more

CRITICAL COMMENTARY

About the Composer

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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.

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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. 

La casa de Munich Henle ofrece como botón de muestra esta Sonata n° 7 en donde los criterios urtext nunca inundan el plano de la partitura pese a su eficacia.

Doce Notas, 2005

Many troublesome details muddied the waters for Valentina Rubcova, Henle’s editor, who undertook the formidable task of reconciling countless stray pedal markings, vagaries of dynamics and so on. We are presented with a satisfyingly coherent score, one that allows Skryabin’s personalised tonal (and expressive) vocabulary to articulate itself straightforwardly …

Piano Professional, 2005

Pour la première fois, les éditions Henle ont pu se baser sur l’autographe, en possession aujourd’hui d’un particulier, aux Etats-Unis.

Crescendo, 2005

This current edition is a model of scholarly endeavour, being the first to make use of the autograph as well as the first edition (published by Editions Russe de Musique in 1913). Most importantly of all it clarifies, via generous layout, the extraordinary technical demands of the closing pages, including an exemplary layout of the notorious four-stave passage near the climax. It is also good to have a clear table of translations for some of the most outlandish directions marked on the score by this most visionary of composers, including gems such as ‘comme des éclairs’ (like lightening) and ‘avec une volupte radieuse’ (with radiant pleasure). …Full marks to Henle for exemplary presentation and outstanding editorship from Valentina Rubcova.

Sheet Music, 2005

De niewe Urtext van Henle, waarbij voor het eerst sinds lange tijd gebruik kon worden gemaakt van het oorspronkelijke handschrift, is een kunststukje in menig opzicht. De ongelooflijke complexiteit van de partituur is zeer overzichtelijk over twee tot vier notenbalken verdeeld, waardoor de structuur van de compositie helder in beeld gebracht wordt.

Pianowereld, 2005

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