THE COMPLETE PRELUDES OF ALEXANDER SCRIABIN: THE EVOLUTION OF HIS REVOLUTIONARY COMPOSITIONAL STYLE

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2013

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During the second half of the nineteenth century, a series of remarkable advances in musical composition emerged in the works of such innovative spirits as Franz Liszt, Hector Berlioz and Richard Wagner. Their pioneering works exerted an extraordinary impact on the music of the subsequent generation of composers--of disparate nationalities-who were active at the dawn of the 20th century: Including most notably Claude-Achille Debussy, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin. These important musical figures, each one leaving an indelible and formative imprint on late-nineteenth century Romantic style, together launched the modern era in music. Scriabin stands alone as a transcendental visionary: His music, initiated in the fashion of Chopin and Liszt, wanders through the realms of Debussy and Wagner, and, ultimately abandoning late Romantic tradition, unlocks the heretofore unforeseen power of atonality, bitonality, polyrhythms and key-signature free compositions. Arguably,

Scriabin's compositions count among the most innovative, idiosyncratic and bewitching of all time. The development of Scriabin's groundbreaking compositional style is best understood by means of his piano works, which comprise the majority of his oeuvre. Beyond the larger works-his twelve sonatas, a concerto and a fantasy-Scriabin's piano explorations are also represented by miniature gems: The mazurkas, impromptus, waltzes, poems, a polonaise, etudes, nocturnes, morceaux and, in particular, the preludes. Scriabin's 90 preludes for piano, arranged in several opus numbers, richly exemplify the striking evolution of his ingenious music, his idiosyncratic philosophy and his provocative personality.

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