The Philosopher and the Pianist behind Alexander Scriabin's Early Piano Music



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Analyses of Alexander Scriabin’s (1872-1915) music and discussions of his spiritual beliefs typically center around his middle and late periods, which started after 1903. By contrast, musicians often designate the music of his early period before 1903 as late-Romantic because it follows the footsteps of Frédéric Chopin. This thesis will argue that Scriabin’s early compositions share many influences that are generally associated with his later music. Scriabin’s emerging philosophical interests are essential to an understanding of his early compositions. In addition, as an accomplished pianist and performer, Scriabin’s performance style also influenced his compositions and provides vital insight into his individual convictions. This thesis will draw on Scriabin’s piano roll recordings and recollections of his performances, as well as letters and notebooks of Scriabin, memoirs from Scriabin’s students, and reviews of Scriabin by his contemporaries to show a strong connection between Scriabin’s early music and his spiritual beliefs.



Scriabin, Piano Music, Philosopher