Scriabin: Alexander: 25 Dec 1871 – 14 April 1915

By | April 6, 2021

(Just to clarify the birth and death dates above are Old Style dates according to the Julian Calendar). The New Style dates are to 6 Jan 1872 – 27 April 1915).

Introduction

Black & White Photograph of Alexander Scriabin in 1871

Alexander Scriabin was a Russian composer and pianist. He was incredibly popular during his lifetime, however, after his death, his popularity went into decline.

During his reasonably short life, he was very happy to write almost entirely for solo piano and orchestra. His early music was influenced by Frederic Chopin and later by synesthesia and associated tones and colours and thesophy.

Early Life

He was born into a Noble family. His mother was a concert pianist, however, she died of tuberculosis when Alexander was only a year old and as a consequence, his father left him with his grandmother and aunts.

He learnt the piano from an early age, his teacher, Nikolai Zverev was teaching Sergei Rachmaninoff at the same time. Unlike Rachmaninoff Scriabin had small hands which barely stretched to the ninth. Whilst practising Franz Liszt’s R√©miniscences de Don Juan he hurt his hand. The doctor diagnosed it to be permanently damaged hence Scriabin writing his first masterpiece: piano Sonata 1 in F Minor; “cry against God, against fate.” Thankfully his hand recovered. (Win Win!).

Scriabin became a Military Cadet but continued playing the piano. After leaving in 1888 he began studying piano and composition at the Moscow Conservatory. He graduated four years later and by then had composed piano pieces which comprised of his Opuses 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7.

Career & Family

In 1897 he married the pianist Vera Isakovich and began teaching at the Moscow Conservatory for 3 years. Following this, he began devoting his time to composition, composing mostly for the piano, including his cycle of études, Op. 8, several sets of preludes, his first three piano sonatas and his only piano concerto. In 1904 they relocated to Switzerland but separated after having had four children.

In 1905 he became acquainted with Tatiana Fyodorovna Schloezer with whom he had more children, one of which was Julian Scriabin who became a very talented composer of various piano works but sadly at the age of eleven he drowned.

Between 1906-7 Scriabin was touring the United States giving concerts. He then visited theosophical circles in Brussels before being persuaded to return to Russia in 1909. Where he remained permanently.

On 2 April 1915 Scriabin gave his final concert in St Peterberg to rave reviews, on returning to Moscow he noticed a pimple on his lip which bizarelly was the death of him, turning into a furuncle and poisoning his blood. On 14 April 1915 he died at the age of just forty-three.

Musical Downloads & Further Reading

On music-scores.com we have over twenty five arrangements for you of Alexander Scriabin Sheet Music.

For further reading take a look at Wikipedia and Britannica.

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