Piano Music - Alexander Scriabin

Alexander Scriabin

1872 - 1915
Alexander Scriabin was a Russian composer and pianist. Scriabin is one of the most significant corner stones of not only Russian music but also the infusion of piano repertoire with more than one type of mysticism. Endeavouring to express the inexpressible, Scriabin transcended the dimension of time, trying to formulate something with the means of musical form that has never before been realised in time and space. "Scriabin came to believe that he had a mission to regenerate mankind through art. This goal was to be achieved by means of a work which he referred to as the Mystery, which was to last seven days, would involve all means of expression and all of humanity, and would transform the world." Simon Nicholls in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

Scriabin Says:

πŸ“– "God in the general meaning of this word is the cause of the totality of phenomena. … To believe in God means to believe in the truth of the doctrine of morality and to allow it. Prayer is the impulse towards God. Religious feeling is the consciousness of the Divinity within oneself."
Written at the age of 16, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "In order to become an optimist in the real meaning of this word, one must experience despair and conquer it."
Around 1900, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "It was not by my own desire that I came into this world.
Well, what of it?
In tender youth, full of the delusion of hopes and desires, I admired it with radiant light and awaited a revelation from the heavens; but there was no revelation.
Well, what of it?
I sought eternal truth also among people, but alas! they know it less than I do.
Well, what of it?
I sought eternal beauty and did not find it. Feelings fade like flowers which have barely opened. Radiant day was replaced by cold rainy night.
I sought consolation in a new spring, in new flowers, but did not find it; these were but efforts to replace something, to bring back what had been lost, to remember what had been experienced. In the life of every person spring occurs only once. And yes how people hasten to separate themselves from this enchanting delusion, from these wonderful dreams! Finally I sought consolation in memories, but I became used to them too, i.e., I lost them.
What of it?"
Around 1900, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "The caressing deception of religions
No longer lulls me
And my reason is no longer darkened
By their softly gleaming mist.
My judgement, always free,
Affirms to me: you are alone;
You are the slave of cold chance,
You are the master of the whole universe.
Why do you entrust your fate
To the Gods, O pitiful mortal?
You can and you must yourself
Bear on your shining countenance
The glorious impress of victory."
Around 1901-1903, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "I am the apotheosis of the universe
I am the aim of aims, the end of ends.
With the strength of daring thought
Long ago I took possession of the world
I should like to impress my love
Upon the hearts of people"
Around 1901-1903, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "When my star flares up into flame
And magic light embraces the earth,
Then will my fire be reflected in people's hearts
And the world will understand its vocation.
By the strength of the spells of heavenly harmony
I will waft caressing dreams to people,
And by the power of love, immeasurable and marvellous,
I will make their life a likeness of spring.
I grant them the peace they have long yearned for
By the strength of my own wisdom.
Peoples, rejoice, the end of suffering and affliction,
Awaited through the ages, has come.'
Around 1901-1903, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "If only I were able with one ray
Of that caressing light
Which lives within my soul,
For just one moment to illumine
The sorrowful life of people with no happiness, no ray of hope."
Around 1901-1903, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "In the dimensions of time and space I am subject to temporal and spatial laws, but the laws of time and space are the creatures of my great 'I.'"
From Notebooks, quoted in Boris de Schloezer Scriabin Artist and Mystic (1923/1975/1987)

πŸ“– "I don't understand how it is possible to write 'just music' now. … You see, that is so uninteresting … After all, music receives meaning and significance when it is a link in a single, unified plan, within an entire world view. … Music is a path of revelation."
Sabaneev Vospominaniya

πŸ“– "Nothing exists, the only thing that is, is what I create."
In Boris de Schloezer Scriabin Artist and Mystic (1923/1975/1987)

πŸ“– "I will not discuss with you [to Schloezer] the truth of theosophy, but I know that Mme. Blavatsky's ideas helped me in my work and gave me power to accomplish my task."
In Boris de Schloezer Scriabin Artist and Mystic (1923/1975/1987)

πŸ“– "I am not expounding theories, I express ideas."
In Boris de Schloezer Scriabin Artist and Mystic (1923/1975/1987)

πŸ“– "A fusion of all the arts is essential, but not such a theatrical one as in Wagner; music must be combined with philosophy and religion into something indivisible and united, which could replace the old outdated Gospel. I have a dream of creating a Mystery of that kind. A special temple has to be built for it - maybe here [Lake Geneva] but maybe far from here, in India. But humanity is not ready for this yet. They must be proselytised, they must be led onto new paths. And I am proselytising. Once even from a boat - like Christ. I have here [Switzerland] a little circle of people who understand me excellently and will follow me."
In Yuly Engel Ocherk

πŸ“– "I am God!
I am nothing, I am play, I am freedom, I am life
I am the boundary, I am the summit
I am God
I am a blossoming, I am bliss
i am a passion burning everything,
devouring everything
I am a fire which has enveloped the universe
and plunged it into the abysses of chaos
I am chaos
I am the blind play of dispersed forces
I am consciousness asleep, Reason extinct

Everything is exterior to me
I am uniform multiplicity
I have lost freedom
Lost consioucness
And only its after gleam
Lives in me
As a blind striving
Away from the centre
Away from the Sun
Away from the after gleam
Of my former Divinity
Which now oppresses me,
Toward freedom
Toward unity
Toward consciousness
Toward truth
Toward God
Toward myself
Toward life
O life, o creative impulse
All-creative striving
Away from the centre, eternally away from the centre
Toward freedom
Toward consciousness"
Around 1904-1905, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "Individuality is necessary, and its full flourishing is necessary."
Around 1904-1905, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "States of consciousness coexist. To experience a state of consciousness means to distinguish it from another state of consciousness, and it is only in relation to it that it exists. To create means to distinguish: all states of consciousness are connected by the single act of distinguishing; this explains their succession in time and their coexistence in space. To come to know the world means to come to know the nature of free creation."
Around 1904-1905, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "I am nothing.
I am only what I create.
I want to create."
Around 1904-1905, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "The universe is a unity, the connection of the processes co-existing in it. In its unity it is free. It exists in itself and through itself. It has within it the possibility of everything, and everything. The possibility of everything is nothing (in the sense of time and space); it is creative force, free activity, the wish to live."
Around 1905-1906, in The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

πŸ“– "I am a moment illuminating eternity.... I am affirmation... I am ecstasy."

πŸ“– "In love's God-like breathing, there's the innermost aspect of the universe."

Quotes by Alexander Scriabin

Scriabin's Piano Music

Books about Scriabin

πŸ‘‰ Download works of Alexander Scriabin on IMSLP / The Petrucci Music Library (free)

Philosophical and Other Readings for Understanding Scriabin

πŸ“– "Unlike most specialists, who regarded philosophy merely as a professional occupation separate from everyday life, Scriabin was constantly immersed in philosophical speculation. Whatever he was doing or saying, an intense inner process of reasoning accompanied his actions … . Scriabin … suffered real agony, almost physical pain, when he found himself unable to cope with a thorny problem. He … abhorred superficiality and approximation in his thinking. This metaphysical passion, if one may so describe it, possessed him to the very end of his life."
Boris de Schloezer Scriabin Artist and Mystic (1923/1975/1987)

Philosophers, Poets and Other Writers:

πŸ“š Arthur Schopenhauer

πŸ“š Johann Gottlieb Fichte

πŸ“š Helena Blavatsky, Annie Besant, C. W. Leadbeater (theosophists)

πŸ“š Nietzsche

πŸ“š Vyacheslav Ivanov

πŸ“š Konstantin Balmont

πŸ“š Valery Bryusov

πŸ“š Nikolay Berdyaev


πŸ“š Mysticism (especially within the context of the Golden Age of Russian Mysticism)

πŸ“š Solipsism

πŸ“š Nihilism

πŸ“š Theosophy

πŸ“š Indian philosophy

πŸ“š Antagonism to materialism

πŸ“š Synesthesia

πŸ“š Symbolism

πŸ“š Russian Silver Age

πŸ“š German idealism

πŸ“š Spiritual collectiveness

πŸ“š Messianism

πŸ“š Unification, oneness

πŸ“š Apocalyptic foreboding

πŸ“š Purification, rebirth

πŸ“š Ecstatic inspiration as basis of artistic creation and meaning

πŸ“š Omni-art, or synthetic art, universal art, combination or recombination of the arts

πŸ“š Reconnection of art with its mystic origins for unification of mankind in a spiritual sense

πŸ“š World transitioning between eras with art bringing a new era into being

πŸ“š Higher self as an identical concept with the divine principle and artistic creation reflecting the creation of the cosmos

Konstantin Balmont - Selected Poems (in Russian)

Scriabin Plays Scriabin

Welte Mignon Piano Rolls (1910)
Prelude Op. 11 No. 1
Prelude Op. 11 No. 2
Prelude Op. 11 No. 13
Prelude Op. 11 No. 14
Prelude Op. 22 No. 1
Mazurka Op. 40 No. 2
Désir Op. 57 no. 1
Etude Op. 8 No. 12
Poem Op. 32 No. 1

Sonata Fantasie No. 2, Op.19
Hupfeld Phonola recording (1908)

Sonata No. 3 Op. 23
Hupfeld piano rolls (1908)

Some Recordings of Piano Music by Alexander Scriabin

Vers la flamme, op.72
Vladimir Sofronitsky, piano (recorded in 1946)

Sonata Fantasy No. 2, Op. 19
Samuel Feinberg, piano (recorded in 1950s)

Sonata No. 5, Op. 53
Samuel Feinberg, piano (recorded in 1948)

Vladimir Sofronitsky, piano (life recording 1955)

Sonata No. 9, Op. 68 "Black Mass"
Vladimir Sofnonitsky, piano (life recording)

Heinrich Neuhaus plays Scriabin Sonata No. 10 Op. 70 (recorded in 1953)

Some Recordings of Orchestral Music by Alexander Scriabin

The Poem of Ecstasy (Le Poème de l'extase), Op 54
USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Evegeny Svetlanov, conductor
Live recording (1968)

The Poem of Ecstasy, Op. 54 (Symphonic Poem, Symphony No. 4) (Le Poème de l'extase)
Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Mravinsky, conductor
Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra (Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra)
Recorded 22 December 1958, in Moscow [Melodiya]

Prométhée ou le Poème du feu / Prometheus or the Poem of Fire, Op. 60
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Anatol Ugorski, piano
Pierre Boulez, conductor
Duain Wolfe

Piano Music by Alexander Scriabin

— Noktyurn, Aβ™­, 1881–2

— Canon, d, 1883

Op. 1 Valse, f, 1885

— Fuga, 1885–6

— Mazurka, C, 1886

— Sonata-fantaziya/Sonata fantasie, gβ™―, 1886

— Val′s/Valse, cβ™―, 1886 [labelled op.6 no.1]

— Val′s/Valse, Dβ™­, 1886

— Variatsii na temu Yegorovoy [Variations on a Theme by Mlle Yegorova], 1887

— Sonata, eβ™­, 1887–9

Op. 2 Trois pièces, 1886–9
Etude C-sharp minor, Prélude B major, Impromptu à la Mazur

— Stranitsa iz al′boma Monigetti/Feuillet d'album de Monighetti, Aβ™­, 1889

Op. 3 Ten Mazurkas, 1889

— Mazurka, F, ?1889

— Mazurka, b, ?1889

Op. 4 Allegro appassionato [after Sonata, eβ™­, movt 1], 1892

Op. 5 Two Nocturnes, 1885–90

Op. 6 Sonata no.1, F minor, 1892

Op. 7 Dva eksprompta v vide mazurki/Deux impromptus à la mazur, 1892

Op. 8 Dvenadtsat′ etyudov/Douze études, 1894

Op. 9 Prelyud i noktyurn dlya odnoy levoy rukoy/Prélude et nocturne pour la main gauche seule, 1894

Op. 10 Dva eksprompta/Deux impromptus, 1894

Op. 11 Dvadtsat′ chetïre prelyudii/Vingt quatre préludes, 1888–96

Op. 12 Dva eksprompta/Deux impromptus, 1895

Op. 13 Shest′ prelyudiy/Six préludes, 1895

Op. 14 Dva eksprompta/Deux impromptus, 1895

Op. 15 Pyat′ prelyudiy/Cinq préludes, 1895–6

Op. 16 Pyat′ prelyudiy/Cinq préludes, 1894–5

Op. 17 Sem′ prelyudiy/Sept préludes, 1895–6

Op. 18 Kontsertnaya allegro/Allegro de concert, 1896

Op. 19 Sonata no.2 ‘Sonata-fantaziya/Sonate-fantasie’, gβ™―, 1892–7

Op. 21 Polonez/Polonaise, bβ™­, 1897

Op. 22 Chetïre prelyudii/Quatre préludes, 1897

Op. 23 Sonata no.3, fβ™―, 1897

Op. 25 Devyat′ mazurek/Neuf mazurkas, 1898–9

Op. 27 Dve prelyudii/Deux préludes, 1900

Op. 28 Fantaziya/Fantasie, b, 1900

Op. 30 Sonata no.4, Fβ™―, 1903

Op. 31 Chetïre prelyudii/Quatre préludes, 1903

Op. 32 Dve poemï/Deux poèmes, Fβ™―, D, 1903

Op. 33 Chetïre prelyudii/Quatre préludes, 1903

Op. 34 Tragicheskaya poema/Poème tragique, Bβ™­, 1903

Op. 35 Tri prelyudii/Trois préludes, 1903

Op. 36 Satanicheskaya poema/Poème satanique, C, 1903

Op. 37 Chetïre prelyudii/Quatre préludes, 1903

Op. 38 Val′s/Valse, Aβ™­, 1903

Op. 39 Chetïre prelyudii/Quatre préludes, 1903

Op. 40 Dve mazurki/Deux mazurkas, 1903

Op. 41 Poema/ Poème, Dβ™­, 1903

Op. 42 Vosem′ etyudov/Huit études, 1903

Op. 44 Dve poemï/Deux poèmes, 1904

Op. 45 Tri p′yesï: Listok iz al′boma/Feuillet d'album; Fantasticheskaya poema/Poème fantasque; Prelyud/Prélude, 1904

Op. 46 Skertso [Scherzo], C, 1905

Op. 47 Quasi-valse, F, 1905

Op. 48 Chetïre prelyudii/Quatre préludes, 1905

Op. 49 Tri p′yesï: Etyud/Etude; Prelyud/Prélude, Gryozï/Rêverie

Op. 51 Chetïre p′yesï: Khrupkost′/Fragilité; Prelyudiya/Prélude; Okrïlyonnaya poema/Poème ailé; Tanets tomleniya/Danse languide, 1906

— Prelyudiya [Prelude], Fβ™―, 1907

Op. 52 Tri p′yesï: Poema/Poème; Zagadka/Enigme; Poema tomleniya/Poème languide, 1907

Op. 53 Sonata no.5, 1907

Op. 56 Chetïre p′yesï: Prelyudiya/Prélude; Ironiya/Ironies; Nyuansï/Nuances; Etyud/Etude, 1908

Op. 57 Dve p′yesï: Zhelaniye/Désir; Laska v tantse/Caresse dansée, 1908

Op. 58 Listok iz al′boma/Feuillet d'album, 1910

Op. 59 Dve p′yesï/Deux pièces: Poema/Poème; Prelyudiya/Prélude, 1910

Op. 61 Poema-noktyurn/Poème-nocturne, 1911–12

Op. 62 Sonata no.6, 1911–12

Op. 63 Dve poemï/Deux poèmes: Maska/Masque; Strannost′/Etrangeté, 1911–12

Op. 64 Sonata no.7, 1911–12 [known as the ‘White Mass’]

Op. 65 Tri etyuda/Trois études, 1911–12

Op. 66 Sonata no.8, 1912–13

Op. 67 Dve prelyudii/Deux préludes, 1912–13

Op. 68 Sonata no.9, 1912–13 [known as the ‘Black Mass’]

Op. 69 Dve poemï/Deux poèmes, 1912–13

Op. 70 Sonata no.10, 1912–13

Op. 71 Dve poemï/Deux poèmes, 1914

Op. 72 K plameni, poema/Vers la flamme, poème, 1914

Op. 73 Dva tantsa/Deux danses: Girlyandï/Guirlandes; Tyomnïye ogni/Flammes sombres, 1914

Op. 74 Pyat′ prelyudii/Cinq préludes, 1914

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