Today, January 6 2023, is Alexander Scriabin’s 151st birthday. By acknowledging this Piano Street takes a look at events and news that happened during last year’s Scriabin 150 anniversary by providing a list of interesting and useful Scriabin resources.
Scriabin 150 – Events:
The Scriabin @150
A full report from the Scriabin 150 conference and celebration in Reading, UK 24-25 September 2022.
New Scriabin Edition Completed
The edition of the ten sonatas by Pavel Shatsky has appeared as volume II/10 of the Alexander Scriabin Collected Works published in Russia by Muzyka and Jurgenson.
International Scriabin 150 Festival Online
Read the full program of events as of November 11-13, 2022.
New Book – Demystifying Scriabin
An innovative contribution to Scriabin studies, covering aspects of Scriabin’s life, personality, beliefs, training, creative output, and interaction with contemporary Russian culture. Published in January 2022.
Scriabin 150 Conference Plus a Scriabin Face Mask
Website and program from the conference 24-25 September, 2022 in Scott Music Centre in Caversham, UK.
Scriabin in the Himalayas – Documentary Film
Held on the terrace of the Thikse Monastery in Ladakh, India, Scriabin in the Himalayas was a spectacular multi-sensorial concert in tribute to the great mystic and musical genius, Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. The documentary had its world premiere at International Scriabin 150 Festival in November 2022.
Concert Dedicated to Alexander Scriabin’s 150th Anniversary
A piano recital by the Armenian pianist Hayk Melikyan, live streamed on November 1st 2022 from St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Orthodox Church, Amrakits, Lori, Armenia.
5 Psychedelic Pieces by Alexander Scriabin on Haken Continuum
A special recording for Scriabin’s 150th birthday with original piano pieces recorded on piano without melody and the Haken Continuum taking the leading voice.
Vincent Larderet Interview & Performance
Larderet’s album is devoted to Scriabin’s 150th anniversary and released in September 2022 by AVIE Records.
Peter Laul Plays Scriabin: The 150th Anniversary Recital
Recorded on 6 January 2022 at the Grand hall of St. Petersburg Philharmonic.
Scriabin 150 – Videos
Videos by Duarte Martins and Filipe Chaves
Assigning Color to Harmony According to Scriabin
Lecture by Martin Kaptein recorded for the Scriabin 150 Festival exploring the relation between color and harmony in Alexander Scriabin’s Sonata No. 8 Op. 66
Alexander Scriabin – Vers la flamme
Composer Alexander Scriabin believed that the world would eventually be immersed in, and purified by the heat of the sun: “an ecstatic abyss of sunshine.” This multimedial film was produced on the occasion of the composer’s 150th anniversary (1872-2022) featuring pianist Marco Rapetti.
Various Scriabin resources:
Scriabin Museum – 100 Years of Attraction
The anniversary exhibition “100 years of attraction” dedicated to the centenary of Scriabin Museum
Scriabin museum – virtual exhibition
Russian Piano Masterpieces
A one hour lecture/recital from Gresham College, UK, with Professor Marina Frolova-Walker and Pianist Peter Donohoe (CBE)
Prometheus, Staged from Yale by Ph.D. Anna Gawboy
In February 2010, Anna Gawboy, a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Music and scholar of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, attempted to realize the composer’s final work: a symphony of sound and light called “Prometheus: Poem of Fire”. To accomplish this, Anna worked closely with Toshiyuki Shimada, conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and Justin Townsend, an award-winning lighting designer.
Hearing Scriabin Play
Scriabin made two series of piano roll recordings: for Hupfeld (1908) and for Welte (1910). The Hupfeld recordings are much less commonly heard and are more problematic, as the reproducing mechanism requires human agency to bring the performance alive by means of nuance.
Sofronitsky in Tuition
This CD brings over twenty-five minutes of Scriabin’s son-in-law, pianist Vladimir Sofronitsky’s teaching of three of Scriabin’s pieces as well as performances of four Scriabin pieces, all recorded privately at his Moscow apartment in 1954.
On the Tracks of Scriabin as a Pianist
Amongst the many descriptions by contemporaries of Scriabin’s playing, two stand out for their vividness, both of performance in a domestic situation. Alexander Pasternak, brother of Boris, wrote as follows: “… I felt and understood that his fingers produced sound, not by falling on the keys, not striking them, […] but on the contrary by pulling away from the key and with a light movement flying above the keys…he sat leaning back and with head thrown back.”
Pavel Lobanov – Sofronitzky Student and Scholar
Lobanov stopped working at Gnesin Institute in 1983, and continued for several years to work as a record producer for ‘Melodiya’. From 1992 to 2009 he was a researcher at the Scriabin Museum. His uniquely broad and deep knowledge, as well as his openness, generosity and personal charm, fitted him well to this role – he was valued highly for his consultations with visitors interested in Scriabin, his demonstrations with films, recordings and illustrations at the piano.
Evidence from the Piano Rolls, Anatole Leikin
Professor Emeritus of Music (UCSC) Anatole Leikin specializes in Classical and Romantic performance practice, music history and theory, and piano performance. “The Performance of Scriabin’s Piano Music: Evidence from the Piano Rolls,” Performance Practice Review, vol 9 no. 1 (1996): 97-113.
Book: The Performing Style of Alexander Scriabin
Full score transcriptions of the piano rolls, which are included in the book, provide many substantial features of Scriabin’s performance: exact pitches and their timing against each other, rhythms, tempo fluctuations, articulation, dynamics and essential pedal application. Using these transcriptions and other historical documents as the groundwork for his research, Anatole Leikin explores Scriabin’s performing style within the broader context of Romantic performance practice.