Alexander Scriabin

The art of Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) is a remarkable page in the Silver Age of modernism in Russian culture. In his most famous works – The Poem of Ecstasy  and Prometheus: The Poem of Fire , 12 piano poems, 3 symphonies, late sonatas for piano, the unfinished mystery “Preliminary Action” – central themes are the individual and the Universe. The freedom that awakens the movement to the highest prosperity of the individual, the boundless faith in the transforming power of art. “I do not want to do something unheard of, but to infuse my humble contribution into the endless rise of creative activity, into the wings of the Spirit, aspiring to divine flight.” – Scriabin wrote. A talented pianist, he graduated in 1892 with a gold medal from the Moscow Conservatory (in the same year, a gold medal was awarded to his fellow student, Sergei Rachmaninoff). Initially he has been writing only piano pieces: etudes, waltzes, sonatas, mazurkas, preludes, in which he paid homage to the music of Frederic Chopin. He has given concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Paris and Brussels, Berlin, The Hague, Amsterdam and Cologne. But a tragic event ended his performing career – in preparation for a piano competition he injured his right hand incurably. During this difficult period, the famous philanthropist Mitrofan Belyayev financially supported the musician and became the publisher of his works. Scriabin was then invited to teach piano at the Moscow Conservatory, but six years later he gave up teaching to devote himself entirely to composing.

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