Author Topic: Scriabins Temple  (Read 20598 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline edward

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3684
  • Hello, little man. I will destroy you.
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2009, 07:20:59 AM »
For Christmas I received Scriabin's Preludes, Vol. 1 with Evgeny Zarafiants on piano (Naxos).

I thouroughly enjoyed them, and wished to check out more - so I borrowed a CD from my brother.  It is a Decca two CD set of the 3 Symphonies & Le Poeme de l'extase conducted by Asheknazy.  The orchestral pieces seem much more difficult for me to get a grasp of.

Any suggestions? Perhaps I should check out the piano sonatas, not quite sure where to start.

Thanks.
The first volume of preludes is of early (though very fine) works, so it doesn't necessarily give you a good picture of how Scriabin's music developed through the whole of his career. You might want to pick up the second volume and listen to the stylistic changes as it moves onwards towards his very last works.

I don't particularly like the Ashkenazy recordings of the orchestral music, and prefer the Muti set (now on Brilliant, I believe). However, for an introduction to the orchestral music I'd probably suggest the following disc which helpfully couples fine performances of the early piano concerto and the late Poeme de l'extase and Prometheus:

"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Drasko

  • Guest
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #41 on: January 06, 2009, 11:28:27 AM »
Any suggestions? Perhaps I should check out the piano sonatas, not quite sure where to start.

Yes, I think complete sonatas would be a good idea. They traverse his entire career and through them you can follow his developement. First three fall into his early, romantic period (kind of continuation from Chopin), fourth is middle where tonality is still existent but starts to blurr, dissonance increases, and final, practicaly atonal period from fifth sonata onwards (roughly by opus numbers from 1-29, 30-52, 53-74).

As for which cycle to get, don't really know, but if you don't want to go piecemeal I guess Szidon on DG or Ashkenazy on Decca should do for a start.

Offline schweitzeralan

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 608
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2009, 10:38:59 AM »
I found a recording of Scriabins last unfinished Preperation for the final Mystery realized by Nemtin. And I read in the cd booklet, that Scriabin believed in some kind of higher level of existence, and that he had serious thoughts about, how his work should transform the human race of the performers and perhabs listeners. 

Do you believe in his idea?

The Mysterium was an unfinished work, as Scriabin died before he concluded it.  Some critics claim that the "Mysterium" is more Nemtin than Scriabin.  I tend to disagree, and I wrote a brief review in Amazon.com.  I think its a wonderful work.  I won't get into details here; suffice to say that to me its a transcendental piece.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 04:30:47 PM by schweitzeralan »

Offline schweitzeralan

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 608
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2009, 06:28:09 AM »
I found a recording of Scriabins last unfinished Preperation for the final Mystery realized by Nemtin. And I read in the cd booklet, that Scriabin believed in some kind of higher level of existence, and that he had serious thoughts about, how his work should transform the human race of the performers and perhabs listeners. 

Do you believe in his idea?

I do have a layman's question concerning Scriabin's late works.  In the late sonatas, in his "Poeme Nocturne,'' and "Vers la flamme," I sense that Scriabin is using versions of the famed mystic chord.  My questin is this: Are Scriabin's later works haunted by the musical technical mode known as "melodic minor?"  Or, perhaps, the "Super-Locrian?" The mystic chord somehow adumbrates the melodic minor, I think. In distinct passages, of course. There are the usual augmented fourths and fifths in many of his later works. For some reason I have always favored, not exclusively of course, the use of themes and sonorous harmonies that suggest the melodic minor.I even appreciate David Shire's "Zodiac," a movie score due to its pervasive use.  A movie piece yet!  I know not why.  Just a curious psychological twist.  It is a singular fact concerning my love of the music of Sibelius, Scriabin, Ravel, and others, even Bach. Just a question.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 12:11:24 PM by schweitzeralan »

Offline Dax

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 638
  • Location: London
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2009, 02:57:37 AM »
This article (discussing Scriabin's Mysterium and Obukhov's La livre de la vie)may be of interest.

http://blackboard.lincoln.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/users/dmeyerdinkgrafe/archive/skria.html

Offline schweitzeralan

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 608
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #45 on: January 28, 2009, 05:59:51 AM »
This article (discussing Scriabin's Mysterium and Obukhov's La livre de la vie)may be of interest.

http://blackboard.lincoln.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/users/dmeyerdinkgrafe/archive/skria.html

Thanks much for downloading the article by Smon-Shaw Miller.  Very informative professional article on Scriabin's works; gets into aspects of the mystic chord and synestesia.  I have his bio written by Faubion Bowers.  Interesting.  I only wished Scriabin could have lived longer. James M. Baker detailed Scriabin's work in his book "The Music of Alexander Scriabin." Very technical analysis of many of Scriabin's early, middle, and late periods.  All very informative on one of my ultimate favorite composers. 

Offline jowcol

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1229
  • The Sound of one hand clapping
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2009, 03:08:52 AM »
How about Scriabin playing his own music?  It's on a Pierian disc #18 and includes piano performances by other historical pianists.  Be advised that piano rolls are the medium (if that would trouble you).  Regardless, this disc will give a very good picture of how Scriabin wanted his music played.

I recall reading somewhere that the Scriabin piano rolls didn't quite capture his sound, because a lot of his technique involved use of the pedals, and the rolls didn't capture them.   But I could be wrong-- so take it with a grain of salt....
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

Offline schweitzeralan

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 608
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2009, 04:44:07 PM »
This article (discussing Scriabin's Mysterium and Obukhov's La livre de la vie)may be of interest.

http://blackboard.lincoln.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/users/dmeyerdinkgrafe/archive/skria.html
Thanks for the download.  I'm pleased that there is a Scriabin thread.  He's a wonderful composer who, like Bridge, Stravinsky, Szymanowski, and others who had their evolving periods, or stages, in their works.  Several in this thread have commented on Scriabin's excessive ego.  Alas, he is not unlike so many other composers who were more than aware of their their talents, much less of their genius. I won't get into details here as several contributors to this thread have well commented on this point.  Suffice to say, on my part, that it is not difficult, at least for me the listener, to appreciate the the work, the music.  I'm almost sure that I could never hobnob with the likes of Scriabin, or with other composers I like for that matter.  I  easily separate the man (or woman) from his/her achievements.

Bulldog

  • Guest
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2009, 06:43:17 AM »
I recall reading somewhere that the Scriabin piano rolls didn't quite capture his sound, because a lot of his technique involved use of the pedals, and the rolls didn't capture them.   But I could be wrong-- so take it with a grain of salt....

There are quite a few folks who have a negative view of piano rolls.  From my perspective, it's certainly true to piano rolls do not accurately capture every feature of a performance; my basic complaint is that piano rolls present a smoother performance without much bite.  On the other hand, it sounds as if the pianist is in the same room with you.  So I'm very glad to have the Pierian piano rolls disc.

George

  • Guest
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2009, 08:17:15 AM »
I recall reading somewhere that the Scriabin piano rolls didn't quite capture his sound, because a lot of his technique involved use of the pedals, and the rolls didn't capture them.   

Interesting, I never thought about pedals and piano rolls.

Offline schweitzeralan

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 608
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #50 on: May 28, 2009, 01:52:46 PM »
The Mysterium was an unfinished work, as Scriabin died before he concluded it.  Some critics claim that the "Mysterium" is more Nemtin than Scriabin.  I tend to disagree, and I wrote a brief review in Amazon.com.  I think its a wonderful work.  I won't get into details here; suffice to say that to me its a transcendental piece.

Again I  write about "Mysterium."  To me it makes little, if any difference that Nemptin finished what Scriabin conceived.  It still remains for me a superb, magnifently conceived work.  It's a personal assessment, to be sure.  Even if the work were conceived by robots, Nemptin notwithstanding, it is an exceedingly, dramaric, significant orchestral work. I simply cannot fathom the lack of interest in the recording. But then again, A cacun son gout.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 05:18:21 PM by schweitzeralan »

Online Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8044
  • An American Hero!
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #51 on: May 28, 2009, 02:45:17 PM »
Again I I write about "Mysterium."  To me it makes little, if any difference that Nemptin finished what Scriabin conceived.  It still remains for me a superb, magnifently conceived work.  It's a personal assessment, to be sure.  Even if the work were conceived by robots, Nemptin notwithstanding, it is an exceedingly, dramaric, significant orchestral work. I simply cannot fathom the lack of interest in the recording. But then again, A cacun son gout.

I agree with reservations: Alexander Nemtin's did a great job with his first 40 minutes: the next two movements seem to show a Captain Ahabsky chasing the Great White Whale of music that Scriabin did not compose, and so the first 40 minutes are given to us as variations again and again.  There are some marvelous moments in the last two movements, but you have - basically - heard them before in the first 40.

Still, an incredible achievement, and I agree that the work, although a hybrid, is unjustly neglected.
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11063
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #52 on: May 29, 2009, 11:38:05 PM »
The musical world's equivalent to "tastes just like chicken."

If you can't describe a composer's otherworldly music, just say, "Sounds like Scriabin." Works like a dream!
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline mikkeljs

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 430
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #53 on: October 12, 2009, 01:12:47 AM »
Someone told me about a mystical book of theory, that Scriabin wrote. I have been googling and went to the library without luck. Has anyone ever read that book, or ever heard of it. It could be very interresting reading! Or perhabs some letters of Scriabin? Just to see how such a person is expressing himself would be interresting to see.


Offline jowcol

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1229
  • The Sound of one hand clapping
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #54 on: October 12, 2009, 04:54:17 AM »
The Faubion Bowers biography has quotes many of the letters, as well as some of the very random telegrams he sent.  If you haven't read that, you need to. It's been thirty years since I read it, but I remember more weird details from that than most any other musical biography I've read.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

Offline mikkeljs

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 430
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #55 on: October 12, 2009, 06:59:11 AM »
really?! Thanks, I will look for that!
I just realized yesterday, that after the old system, Scriabin was born at christmas day and died on easter! First I thought it was a joke, when I saw it, but it seems to be correct.

Offline mikkeljs

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 430
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #56 on: October 12, 2009, 12:03:33 PM »
I couldnĀ“t find the Faubion Bowers biography as published on the internet so far.

I have been thinking a lot about his idea with a musical cathedral that would have its own evolution and which would create a new culture of higher beings. Am I the only, who like the idea? Something that involves smell, sound, touch and light performed during 7 days for 100.000 special musicians in a cathedral in Himalaya, would probably be such an experience that one will never forget. It would be an experience of energy as never seen before in history of mankind.


 

Offline jowcol

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1229
  • The Sound of one hand clapping
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #57 on: October 12, 2009, 12:43:23 PM »
http://scriabinsociety.com/publications.html

Doesn't look good for finding the Bowers Bio.  Amazon is selling used copies for > 100$. The Scriabin society has a few copies if you join and pay 70$.

What a shame! 
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington


Offline schweitzeralan

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 608
Re: Scriabins Temple
« Reply #59 on: October 12, 2009, 06:26:09 PM »
This article (discussing Scriabin's Mysterium and Obukhov's La livre de la vie)may be of interest.

http://blackboard.lincoln.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/users/dmeyerdinkgrafe/archive/skria.html
Interesting in-depth study on Scriabin.  It seems I an never get enough of the "Mysterium," at least the first two cd's. I've listened to several of Obukhos pianistic works;howrver, I haven't famliarized myself enough to adjudicate what I've listened to thus far. It appears that Obukhov tendsto be quite Schoenbergian and follows the trend of several post Scriabinists:  Lourie, Roslavets, Protopopov, some of S. Feinberg, all of whom  have shown in several works certain avant-garde tendencies.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 05:03:11 AM by schweitzeralan »