Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin

Born 6 January 1872. Died 27 April 1915.

Scriabin

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Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy

With Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Featured in BBC Music Clips
 

Biography

Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Никола́евич Скря́бин,[citation needed]; 6 January 1872  – 27 April  1915) was a Russian composer and pianist. Scriabin's early work is characterised by a lyrical and idiosyncratic tonal language influenced by Frédéric Chopin. Later in his career, independently of Arnold Schoenberg, Scriabin developed a substantially atonal and much more dissonant musical system, which he accorded with his personal brand of mysticism. Scriabin was influenced by synesthesia, and associated colors with the various harmonic tones of his atonal scale, while his color-coded circle of fifths was also influenced by theosophy. He is considered by some to be the main Russian Symbolist composer.

Scriabin was one of the most innovative and most controversial of early modern composers. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia said of Scriabin that, "No composer has had more scorn heaped or greater love bestowed..." Leo Tolstoy once described Scriabin's music as "a sincere expression of genius." Scriabin had a major impact on the music world over time, and influenced composers like Roy Agnew, Nikolai Roslavets, Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky. Scriabin's importance in the Soviet musical scene, and internationally, drastically declined. According to his biographer, "No one was more famous during their lifetime, and few were more quickly ignored after death." Nevertheless, his musical aesthetics have been reevaluated, and his ten published sonatas, which arguably provided the most consistent contribution to the genre since the time of Beethoven's set, have been increasingly championed.

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