In 1891, the year before his final exam at the music conservatory, Alexander Scriabin injured his right hand due to his ambitious practising. This seriously jeopardized his career as a pianist and the young musician plunged into a crisis. Yet Scriabin still managed to complete his piano studies in 1892, gaining a gold medal. His first published Piano Sonata op. 6 is, however, irrevocably linked to this time of crisis. The dark work reaches its climax at the end of the 3rd movement with hammering chords that are joined to the final movement, a sombre funeral march – great, confessional music. We are now publishing an Urtext edition of this key work, edited and presented by the Scriabin expert Valentina Rubcova.
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Alexander N. Scriabin (1872–1915) took an early interest in the sonata genre and returned to it throughout his composing career. He wrote his first youthful sonata at the age of 15; in gk minor, it bore the subsidiary title Sonate-Fantaisie. There followed a sonata in ck minor of which only the opening of the first movement has survived, then a third sonata in g minor that is … 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
Henle's afzonderlijke uitgave is veel handzamer, slaat prettiger open en is ook qua bladspiegel net iets overzichtelijker opgezet. ... Het beknoptere commentaar van Valentina Rubcova in de Henle uitgave staat wel achterin te lesen.
Da es ein Werk von hoher künstlerischer Qualität und pianistischer Eloquenz (mit Anklängen an Chopin) ist, wäre eine Annäherung gewiss ein lohnendes Unterfangen. Die Urtext-Ausgabe von Henle bietet dafür eine absolut verlässliche Grundlage.