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Beauty and Hope in the 21st Century

The recently published compilation “Beauty and Hope in the 21st Century” contains contemporary solo piano pieces from many internationally renowned composers. Nikolas Sideris and Editions Musica Ferrum generously give access to complete scores of new piano pieces from the compilation that are available to download and print for Piano Street members. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Scriabin's music  (Read 11418 times)
soderlund
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« on: October 21, 2007, 10:25:49 PM »

Does anyone have a reliable list of his works? I have searched the internet but I can't find anything good. I would like to know which of his works are atonal, for example, all sources say different things.
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retrouvailles
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2007, 10:27:20 PM »

You can't really classify some of them as atonal, but people will argue. And think of tonality and atonality as extremes. Many of his pieces lie in the middle that one would think were atonal. Why would you want a list of his "atonal" works anyways?
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soderlund
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2007, 10:32:06 PM »

I'm not interested in the atonal work specifically. I just thought it would be interesting to study his works. I understand he was very influenced by Chopin in the beginning of his life, but then started writing more and more atonal works. There's no particular reason, just plain curiosity. I have just started playing his music, I guess this is why. I am working on two of the preludes in op.11, which are definitely not atonal though.
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rachfan
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2007, 10:46:51 PM »

Hi soderlund,

If you cannot find a chronological and complete listing of Scriabin's piano works by exhausting the Internet, then the alternative is repertoire guides.  Here are ones I rely on:

Maurice Hinson, Guide to the Pianist's Repertoire, 3rd Edition

James Friskin & Irwin Freundlich, Music for the Piano

Trevor Barnard, A Practical Guide to Solo Piano Music

I hope this helps. 
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soderlund
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2007, 10:51:42 PM »

Thank you rachfan.  I don't have the money to buy any of those books since I just bought 45 cd's from amazon.com though. My economy is slowly but surely recovering. But that would be great to have some day Smiley
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counterpoint
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2007, 11:03:46 PM »

A list of Scriabin's works:

http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/1077/works.html
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soderlund
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2007, 11:08:36 PM »

Thank you so much counterpoint. This seems like a really good source. There's always wikipedia, but they are incorrect in some of the keys of his works, for instance one prelude is in E sharp minor according to them.  Huh
So, I don't trust wikipedia for tonal/atonal works, when it's hard to tell, like retrouvailles said.
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counterpoint
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2007, 11:13:07 PM »

one prelude is in E sharp minor according to them.  Huh

E# minor, wow, that's a cool key  Cheesy
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soderlund
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2007, 06:31:51 AM »

I thought so too, and I was really looking forward to looking at the sheet music to it here on pianostreet. But it was in E major.  Angry
It didn't seem unbelievable that he would write such a piece...

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soderlund
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2007, 06:45:24 AM »

But which piece is considered the first atonal by Scriabin? Or when do you begin to see tendencies to atonality? It would be interesting to hear. Did he only write atonal pieces in the end?
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retrouvailles
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2007, 06:58:05 AM »

You can't really call any of his pieces flat out atonal, but I would say that around Op. 57 or 58 he starts to change over a bit. Even his last pieces, the Op. 74 preludes, have tonal tendencies to them, so to call them flat out atonal is sort of wrong.
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schubertiad
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2007, 08:22:55 AM »

The piano sonatas are a brilliant microcosm of his general output. Listen to all his sonatas in order (they are all very short, most around the ten minute mark) and you will hear his progression from very tonal (but still uniquely scriabin) in the first two sonatas, right through to the weird chromaticism of the last few sonatas.
Most of them should be up on youtube if you don't have any cds of them.
Enjoy!
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soderlund
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2007, 09:01:44 AM »

You can't really call any of his pieces flat out atonal, but I would say that around Op. 57 or 58 he starts to change over a bit. Even his last pieces, the Op. 74 preludes, have tonal tendencies to them, so to call them flat out atonal is sort of wrong.

I thought of the prelude op. 31 no.1, in Db major/ C major, but perhaps it just changes keys a lot. I haven't played it, and I haven't heard it. This is really interesting though. I haven't listened to much of his late works, only the last sonata and of course Vers la flamme.

The piano sonatas are a brilliant microcosm of his general output. Listen to all his sonatas in order (they are all very short, most around the ten minute mark) and you will hear his progression from very tonal (but still uniquely scriabin) in the first two sonatas, right through to the weird chromaticism of the last few sonatas.
Most of them should be up on youtube if you don't have any cds of them.
Enjoy!

Thanks for your advice. I actually started this morning, I got to sonata no.3. I have a double cd with the wonderful Vladimir Ashkenazy playing all of the sonatas. Which interpretation would you prefer, Horowitz or Ashkenazy? I have Horowitz playing the third and fifth sonatas as well. I guess I will be very criticized for saying this, but I generally don't like Horowitz. He's playing is so... dry. But I know Horowitz is famous for his interpretations of Scriabin, that's why I bought a cd of him playing some preludes, etudes and these two sonatas.
I am currently working on op.10 no.10 and op.10 no.14, both these preludes are on the Horowitz cd. I didn't like his playing of these pieces very much.
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dnephi
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2007, 11:07:32 AM »

That's pretty odd.  Horowitz is anything but dry.
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2007, 11:11:16 AM »

Perhaps it was the wrong word, I can't really explain what I mean. I guess it's just individual. I do respect the opinions of those who think his playing is amazing. It just doesn't speak to me the same way Zimerman, Arrau or Ashkenazy does.
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the_duck
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« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2007, 12:59:55 PM »

Horowitz's scriabin is like no one else's, usually in a good way, but sometimes for the wrong reason. His style is often one of extremes, and the extremes of pedalling in his scriabin are often a bit much. Scriabin's harmonies are so rich that playing large sections without pedal (which horowitz tends to do) often sounds very dry, and not very suited to the music.
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dnephi
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« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2007, 03:56:55 PM »

Ashkenazy and Arrau are far from the great Scriabin interpreters, which are these three:  Sofronitsky, Richter, and Horowitz.

Sofronitzky married his daughter for crying out loud!
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For us musicians, the music of Beethoven is the pillar of fire and cloud of mist which guided the Israelites through the desert.  (Roughly quoted, Franz Liszt.)
soderlund
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« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2007, 05:21:12 PM »

Ashkenazy and Arrau are far from the great Scriabin interpreters, which are these three: Sofronitsky, Richter, and Horowitz.

Sofronitzky married his daughter for crying out loud!

Did Arrau actually even record a cd playing Scriabin? I really like Arrau's Liszt and Beethoven, but I've never heard him play Scriabin. I didn't know Sofronitzky before... Has he recorded a lot?
I find it hard to find any cd's by Richter, sadly. I don't have a single one  Sad
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retrouvailles
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2007, 07:18:40 PM »

Sofronitsky is great for Scriabin. Do check out Roger Woodward as well. His late Scriabin is some of the best I've heard. Hamelin also has some good late sonatas. I really don't like Horowitz because of his unevenness and harsh tone.
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soderlund
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« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2007, 06:37:22 PM »

Okay, I compiled a list of his works, based on several different sources, the one counterpoint posted, another list I found, and when I didn't know what to do I compared with wikipedia. Could you guys please take a look at this, especially the middle period, and see if there's something you don't agree with.

Early works:
1 Waltz F minor
2-1 Etude C# minor
2-2 Prelude B major
2-3 Impromptu a la Mazur C major
3-1 Mazurka B minor
3-2 Mazurka F# minor
3-3 Mazurka G minor
3-4 Mazurka E major
3-5 Mazurka D# minor
3-6 Mazurka C# minor
3-7 Mazurka E minor
3-8 Mazurka Bb minor
3-9 Mazurka G# minor
3-10 Mazurka Eb minor
4 Allegro appassionato Eb minor
5-1 Nocturne F# minor
5-2 Nocturne A major
6 Sonata No. 1 F minor
7-1 Impromptu a la Mazur G# minor
7-2 Impromptu a la Mazur F# minor
8-1 Etude C# minor
8-2 Etude F# minor
8-3 Etude B minor
8-4 Etude B major
8-5 Etude E major
8-6 Etude A major
8-7 Etude Bb minor
8-8 Etude Ab major
8-9 Etude G# minor
8-10 Etude Db major
8-11 Etude Bb minor
8-12 * Etude D# minor
9-1 Prelude for the left hand C# minor
9-2 Nocturne for the left hand Db major
10-1 Impromptu F# minor
10-2 Impromptu A major
11-1 Prelude C major
11-2 Prelude A minor
11-3 Prelude G major
11-4 Prelude E minor
11-5 Prelude D major
11-6 Prelude B minor
11-7 Prelude A major
11-8 Prelude F# minor
11-9 Prelude E major
11-10 Prelude C# minor
11-11 Prelude B major
11-12 Prelude G# minor
11-13 Prelude Gb major
11-14 Prelude Eb minor
11-15 Prelude Db major
11-16 Prelude Bb minor
11-17 Prelude Ab major
11-18 Prelude F minor
11-19 Prelude Eb major
11-20 Prelude C minor
11-21 Prelude Bb major
11-22 Prelude G minor
11-23 Prelude F major
11-24 Prelude D minor
12-1 Impromptu F# major
12-2 Impromptu Bb minor
13-1 Prelude C major
13-2 Prelude A minor
13-3 Prelude G major
13-4 Prelude E minor
13-5 Prelude D major
13-6 Prelude B minor
14-1 Impromptu B major
14-2 Impromptu F# minor
15-1 Prelude A major
15-2 Prelude F# minor
15-3 Prelude E major
15-4 Prelude E major
15-5 Prelude C# minor
16-1 Prelude B major
16-2 Prelude G# minor
16-3 Prelude Gb major
16-4 Prelude Eb minor
16-5 Prelude F# major
17-1 Prelude D minor
17-2 Prelude Eb major
17-3 Prelude Db major
17-4 Prelude Bb minor
17-5 Prelude F minor
17-6 Prelude Bb major
17-7 Prelude G minor
18 Concerto Allegro Bb minor
19 Sonata No. 2 (Sonata-Fantasy) G# minor
20 Piano Concerto F# minor
21 Polonaise Bb minor
22-1 Prelude G# minor
22-2 Prelude C# minor
22-3 Prelude B major
22-4 Prelude B minor
23 Sonata No. 3 F# minor
24 Reverie 
25-1 Mazurka F minor
25-2 Mazurka C major
25-3 Mazurka E minor
25-4 Mazurka E major
25-5 Mazurka C# minor
25-6 Mazurka F# major
25-7 Mazurka F# minor
25-8 Mazurka B major
25-9 Mazurka Eb minor
26 Symphony No. 1 E major
27-1 Prelude G minor
27-2 Prelude B major
28 Fantasy B minor
29 Symphony No. 2 C minor
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soderlund
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« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2007, 06:42:55 PM »

The middle part.

30 Sonata No. 4 F# major
31-1 Prelude Db major
31-2 Prelude F# minor
31-3 Prelude Eb minor
31-4 Prelude C major
32-1 Poem F# major
32-2 Poem D major
33-1 Prelude E major
33-2 Prelude F# major
33-3 Prelude C major
33-4 Prelude Ab major
34 Poeme Tragique Bb major
35-1 Prelude Db major
35-2 Prelude Bb major
35-3 Prelude C major
36 Poeme Satanique C major
37-1 Prelude Bb minor
37-2 Prelude F# major
37-3 Prelude B major
37-4 Prelude G minor
38 Valse Ab major
39-1 Prelude F# major
39-2 Prelude D major
39-3 Prelude G major
39-4 Prelude Ab major
40-1 Mazurka Db major
40-2 Mazurka F# major
41 Poem Db major
42-1 Etude Db major
42-2 Etude F# minor
42-3 Etude F# major
42-4 Etude F# major
42-5 Etude C# minor
42-6 Etude Db major
42-7 Etude F minor
42-8 Etude Eb major
43 Symphony No. 3 The Divine Poem C minor
44-1 Poem C major
44-2 Poem C major
45-1 Feuillet d'Album 
45-2 Poeme Fantastique 
45-3 Prelude Eb major
46 Scherzo C major
47 Quasi Valse F major
48-1 Prelude F# major
48-2 Prelude C major
48-3 Prelude Db major
48-4 Prelude C major
49-1 Etude Eb major
49-2 Prelude F major
49-3 Reverie 
51-1 Fragilite 
51-2 Prelude A minor
51-3 Poème Aile
51-4 Danse Languide 
52-1 Poème
52-2 Enigme 
52-3 Poeme Languide 
53 * Sonata No. 5
54 Symphony No. 4 Poem of Ecstasy
56-1 Prelude Eb major
56-2 Ironies 
56-3 Nuances 
56-4 Etude
57-1 Desir 
57-2 Caresse Dansee
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retrouvailles
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« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2007, 06:45:55 PM »

You must understand, just because something does not keep a certain tonal center doesn't mean it is atonal. The ones you have labeled as "atonal" really aren't, but they have a freer tonality. That is the case for many of his pieces from his later period.
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soderlund
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« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2007, 06:46:25 PM »

Last part...

58 Feuillet d'Album
59-1 Poème
59-2 Prelude
60 Prometheus "The poem of fire"
61 Poem-Nocturne  
62 Sonata No. 6  
63-1 Masque
63-2 Etrangete  
64 "White Mass" Sonata No. 7  
65-1 Etude
65-2 Etude  
65-3 Etude
66 Sonata No. 8
67-1 Prelude
67-2 Prelude  
68 * "Black Mass" Sonata No. 9
69-1 Poème  
69-2 Poème
70 Sonata No. 10
71-1 Poème
71-2 Poème
72 Vers la Flamme  
73-1 Guirlandes
73-2 Flammes Sombres
74-1 Prelude  
74-2 Prelude  
74-3 Prelude
74-4 Prelude
74-5 Prelude
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soderlund
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« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2007, 06:48:29 PM »

You must understand, just because something does not keep a certain tonal center doesn't mean it is atonal. The ones you have labeled as "atonal" really aren't, but they have a freer tonality. That is the case for many of his pieces from his later period.

Yep, I understand the concept, I am quite sure. This was pretty much what I meant, but you expressed it better. Some of the works doesn't keep a tonal center. I understand. I wish I had the sheet music to some of his late pieces, but now when imslp.org is shutdown I can't find it.
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retrouvailles
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« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2007, 07:02:41 PM »

http://www.piano.ru/skr.html
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soderlund
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« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2007, 07:05:35 PM »

Thank you  Smiley

Okay, perhaps my list is not very good. Perhaps you simply shouldn't list the keys in these middle and late works that are doubtful in tonality. I don't know.
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retrouvailles
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« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2007, 07:08:53 PM »

Yeah, you shouldn't. If it doesn't have a definite key that it stays in, it is best to not list it. It would be like saying that Mahler's 5th symphony is in C sharp minor, when it really only is in that for a part of the piece. Pieces like those simply don't have a key assigned to them, but are not atonal. They just have a free tonality.
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soderlund
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« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2007, 07:12:05 PM »

Thank you retrouvailles, for all your posts in this thread, you have certainly helped me clear out some things and understand Scriabin's tonal/atonal concept.  I'm going to edit my list, but leave it here, someone might have use for it someday.  Smiley
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soderlund
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« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2007, 07:31:12 PM »

There, edited and done. On the works in the middle part where the key is still marked, it should be considered completely tonal. It is most of the works there... Retrouvailles, do you think this is better? Or are some works atonal enough to not be marked with a key?
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« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2011, 08:19:43 AM »

Scriabin's early time music.

Do you have this score?
And Do you play them?

Jugendwerke für Klavier
Scherzo Es-dur (1886), Scherzo As-dur (1886), 2 Fugen (1888),
Klavierstück b-moll (1887), Mazurka h-moll (1889), Duett für
2 Singstimmen, Poème symphonique d-moll (1896) für 2 Klaviere
Anhang: Fragmente (Ballade b-moll, 2 Etüden, Valse-Impromptu,
Sonate cis-moll)
herausgegeben von Daniel Bosshard
ETG 106 Fr. 65.00 / € 42.60
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« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2011, 01:32:59 PM »

Short of consulting Jonathan Powell, I would suggest that the Wiki list at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Alexander_Scriabin is about as useful as any.

Best,

Alistair
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