Scriabin’s ideal of music as part of a synthesis of the arts, raising people to a higher level of consciousness, is particularly apparent in his late work "Vers la flamme" op. 72. The poème opens with static, rough chords, and then slowly but steadily rises from the depths to the bright light above. Diverse levels of sound in changing rhythms gradually move above one another and create a suction-like tension. At the close, tremolos and fanfares tower up to a blazing conflagration of orchestral intensity.
The Scriabin expert Valentina Rubcova knowledgeably sheds light on this suggestive work in the accompanying texts to our Urtext edition.
- Level of difficulty (Explanation)
- Other titles with this level of difficulty
During the last years of his life Alexander Scriabin (1872–1915) planned a large-scale project, the “Mystery”, that would fuse all of the arts into a synaesthetic, “Gesamtkunstwerk”, experience. The project was never realised. However, almost all of his compositions from this time have a more or less direct link with his ideas for the Mystery. Scriabin had already … 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
This new Urtext edition by G. Henle is a valuable resource for Scriabin lovers. ... If you do not own this work, then this attractive new edition of Scriabin's Vers la flamme is worthy of your consideration. It would make an excellent addition to your library.