Skrjabin called his seventh sonata “White Mass”, drawing attention to the mystical basis that is stamped on all his late works, including this one. He attempts here to translate into sound his ideal of a “mystery” – a “Gesamtkunstwerk” of artistic, theological and philosophical ideas. Its aim, as stated in his own words, is the raising up of the human spirit. No longer is the formal scaffolding of the work based principally around that of sonata form, but around the idea of “evolutionary development from chaos to ecstasy”. Our edition is the first to be based on the autograph, which is today in a private collection in the USA.
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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 … more
About the composer
Russian composer and pianist. The focal point of his oeuvre is his extremely unique piano music; in addition, he wrote important orchestral works.
|1872||Born in Moscow on January 6, the son of a pianist (his mother); she died in 1872.|
|1888–92||Piano studies at the Moscow Conservatory|
|1888–96||Twenty-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.|
|1892–1913||Composition of ten piano sonatas.|
|1896||Travels to Paris, Vienna, Rome.|
|1897||Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor, Op. 20, in the style of Chopin.|
|1897–1909/10||He 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.|
|1899–1904||Composition of his three symphonies, Opp. 26, 29, and 43.|
|1904||He resides in Switzerland.|
|1906||Invitation to the United States.|
|1910||Return 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.|
|1913||Beginning of the multisensory “Acte préalable” (“Prefatory Action”), which is never completed.|
|1915||Death in Moscow on April 27.|
About the authors
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.
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 …
Pour la première fois, les éditions Henle ont pu se baser sur l’autographe, en possession aujourd’hui d’un particulier, aux Etats-Unis.
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.
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.