Alexander Scriabin

Biography

Born: Jan 6, 1872; Russia   Died: Apr 27, 1915; Russia   Period: 20th Century
Mystic, visionary, virtuoso, and composer, Scriabin dedicated his life to creating musical works which would, as he believed, open the portals of the spiritual world. Scriabin took piano lessons as a child, joining, in 1884, Nikolay Zverov's class, where Rachmaninov was a fellow student. From 1888 to 1892, Scriabin studied at the Moscow Conservatory, where his teachers included Arensky, Taneyev, and Safonov. Although Scriabin's hand could not Read more easily stretch beyond an octave, he developed into a prodigious pianist, launching an international concert career in 1894. Scriabin started composing during his Conservatory years. Mostly inspired by Chopin, his early works include nocturnes, mazurkas, preludes, and etudes for piano. Typical examples of Romantic music for the piano, these works nevertheless reveal the composer's strong individuality. Toward the end of the century, Scriabin started writing orchestral works, earning a solid reputation as a composer, and obtaining a professorship at the Moscow Conservatory in 1898. In 1903, however, Scriabin abandoned his wife and their four children and embarked on a European journey with a young admirer, Tatyana Schloezer. During his sojourn in Western Europe, which lasted six years, Scriabin started developing an original, highly personal musical idiom, experimenting with new harmonic structures and searching for new sonorities. Among the works composed during this time was the Divine Poem.

In 1905, Scriabin discovered the theosophical teachings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, which became the intellectual foundation of his musical and philosophical efforts. In true Romantic tradition, he sought to situate his work as a composer in the wider spiritual and intellectual context of his age. Previously influenced by Nietzsche's ideas about the advent of a superhuman being, Scriabin embraced theosophy as an intellectual framework for his profound feelings about humankind's quest for God. Works from this period, exemplified by the Poem of Ecstasy (1908) and Prometheus (1910), reflect Scriabin's conception of music as a bridge to mystical ecstasy. While the ideas underlying his works may seem far-fetched, Scriabin's musical language included some fascinating, and very tangible, innovations, such as chords based on fourths and unexpected chromatic effects. Lacking an inner forward-moving force, Scriabin's later works nevertheless fascinate the listener by harmonic transformations which aim to reflect certain undefinable aspects of human consciousness. In addition, the composer, who strongly believed in the synaesthetic nature of art, experimented with sounds and colors, indicating, for example, lighting specification for the performance of particular works. Indeed, Scriabin's interest in color was hardly academic, considering that , as an orchestrator, he exploited the full potential of orchestral color. While Scriabin never quite crossed the threshold to atonality, his music nevertheless replaced the traditional concept of tonality by an intricate system of chords, some of which (e.g., the "mystic chord": C-F sharp-B flat-E-A-D) had an esoteric meaning. Scriabin's gradual move into realms beyond traditional tonality can be clearly heard in his ten piano sonatas; the last five, composed during 1912-1913, are without key signatures and certainly contain atonal moments. In 1915, Scriabin died in of septicemia caused by a carbuncle on his lip. Among his unfinished project was Mysterium, a grandiose religious synthesis of all arts which would herald the birth of a new world. Read less

Scriabin: Symphonies No 2 & 3, Etc / Neeme Järvi, Et Al
Release Date: 04/13/1999   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 2405   Number of Discs: 2
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Scriabin: Prometheus, Etc /Postnikova, Rozhdestvensky, Et Al
Release Date: 06/22/1999   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9728   Number of Discs: 1
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Nielsen: Symphony No 4; Scriabin: Poem Of Ecstasy / Mehta, Et Al
Release Date: 06/03/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002069802   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt: Symphony On Dante's Divine Comedy; Wagner, Scriabin / Ahronovitch
Release Date: 03/29/2011   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 10067   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Prometheus, "Poem of Fire"

Browse 1-25 of 28 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Complete Rca And Sony Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304505 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Murray Perahia,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Midori  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 2.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 3.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 4.
    Alexander Scriabin: Symphonic Works
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001993 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Heinrich Fridheim,  Y. Krivosheyev,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Lyudmila Yermakova
    CD: $54.49
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  • 5.
    The Art Of Valery Gergiev
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1083441 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Olga Borodina,  Lang Lang,  Sergei Levitin,  Alexander Toradze  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 4; Scriabin: Promethee / Lefevre, Nagano, Montreal Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29288 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Alain Lefčvre
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.49
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  • 7.
    Scriabin: 3 Symphonies, Poeme de l'extase / Eliahu Inbal
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420785 Release Date: 06/28/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Fausto Tenzi,  Doris Soffel
    Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Frankfurt Kantorei
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  • 8.
    Mitropoulos Conducts Schoenberg And Scriabin
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 967 Release Date: 12/16/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Alexander Scriabin
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    The Anthology Of Russian Symphony Music: Vassily Kalinnikov & Alexander Scriabin
    Label: Nikolaeva-svetlanova   Catalog: 15 Release Date: 12/08/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Vasily Kalinnikov,  Alexander Scriabin
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    On sale! $119.98
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  • 10.
    Scriabin: Piano Concerto, Prometheus / Dubourg, Uljanov
    Label: Tudor Records   Catalog: 7025 Release Date: 06/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Evelyne Dubourg
    Conductor:  Nicholas Uljanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bratislava City Choir,  Bratislava Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Shostakovich: Symphony No 5; Scriabin / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 38061 Release Date: 02/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Vladimir Sokoloff
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia
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  • 12.
    Scriabin: Orchestral Works / Segerstam, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1669 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Urban Agnas,  Love Derwinger,  Inger Blom,  Lars Magnusson  ... 
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Chorus,  Stockholm Philharmonic Chorus
    CD: $44.49
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  • 13.
    Prometheus - Musical Variations On A Myth / Abbado, Argerich
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101717 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Luigi Nono
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Dmitri Mitropoulos Conducts Schoenberg, Scriabin, Et Al
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1156 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Alexander Scriabin,  Franz Schmidt
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Vladimir Ashkenazy - Great Piano Concertos
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 473601 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  István Kertész  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Scriabin: Symphonies 4 & 5, Piano Concerto / Johanos, Ponti
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: 8170 Release Date: 09/01/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Phillip Ruder,  Richard Giangiulio,  Alfred Mouledous,  Michael Ponti
    Conductor:  Donald Johanos,  Hans Drewantz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  Hamburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Trio - Scriabin: Complete Symphonies, Etc / Ashkenazy, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000088102 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Peter Jablonski,  Brigitte Balleys,  Sergei Larin
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,  Berlin RIAS Chorus
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  • 18.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 4; Scriabin, Stravinsky / Lubimov, Saraste
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 7430732 Release Date: 04/08/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  Igor Stravinsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Alexei Lubimov
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Mendelssohn Choir,  Toronto Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 19.
    Scriabin: Symphony No 1, 2, 3, Promethee, Etc / Muti, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 67720 Release Date: 11/13/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Dmitri Alexeev,  Frank Kaderabek,  Stefania Toczyska,  Michael Myers
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Westminster Choir
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  • 20.
    Scriabin: Concerto For Piano, Etc / Nikolay Golovanov
    Label: Boheme Music   Catalog: 908087 Release Date: 12/19/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Alexander Goldenweiser
    Conductor:  Nikolai S. Golovanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  All-Union Radio Chorus,  All-Union Radio/TV Large Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 21.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4;  Scriabin: Prometheus / Muti
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73737 Release Date: 06/27/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Dmitri Alexeev
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Scriabin: Piano Concerto, Etc / Scherbakov, Golovchin, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550818 Release Date: 10/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Konstantin Scherbakov
    Conductor:  Igor Golovchin,  Ludmila Ermakova
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra,  Russian State Choir
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  • 23.
    Scriabin: Le Poeme de l'Extase, Piano Concerto, Prometheus / Boulez, Ugorski
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459647 Release Date: 07/20/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Anatol Ugorski
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Chorus,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Scriabin: Prometheus, Etc /Postnikova, Rozhdestvensky, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9728 Release Date: 06/22/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Viktoria Postnikova
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hague Residentie Orchestra,  Netherlands Theater Choir
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  • 25.
    Stravinsky: The Firebird;  Scriabin: Prometheus / Gergiev
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 446715 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Alexander Toradze
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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