Alexander Scriabin plays Etude op 8 no 12

1872-1915, the Russian pianist, 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 easily stretch beyond an octave, he developed into a prodigious pianist, launching an international concert career in 1894. His early music was mostly for piano (including études, preludes, and sonatas) but also included two symphonies and a piano concerto. After 1900 he was much preoccupied with mystical philosophy and began using unusual harmonies, producing a third symphony and the Divine Poem (1904). He became involved in theosophy, which provided the basis for the orchestral Poem of Ecstasy (1908) and Prometheus (1910); the latter called for the projection of colours onto a screen during the performance. No longer thinking in terms of music alone, he made sketches for a huge operatic ritual, Mysterium, which was never composed.

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