Scriabin’s third piano sonata is an early composition that was still fully written in the romantic tradition. For a long time it has been part of the core piano literature – and rightly so. In addition to the surviving sketches and the first edition (published in 1898), our edition of the sonata also takes into account a recording that Scriabin made of his work on a mechanical piano. The Russian Scriabin expert Valentina Rubcova knowledgeably sheds light on this unusual source situation.
Read more about this edition in the Henle Blog.
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Alexander Scriabin (1872–1915) completed his Piano Concerto in fk minor op. 20 in the autumn of 1897. He appeared as soloist at the work’s premiere on 11 October in Odessa, and subsequently made several changes to the orchestral score. After his publisher Mitrofan Petrovich Belyayev received the corrected score, he urged Scriabin to also prepare a version of the Concerto … 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.|