Something for Thursday

I’m on something of a Russian classical music kick of late, so here’s a fascinating piece by one of the most idiosyncratic composers ever, Alexander Scriabin. Scriabin was something of a light unto himself. He doesn’t fit into any of the usual convenient labels for music. Scriabin is too Romantic to be modern, but too free in his formal approach and his choice of thematic fare to be really Romantic. He exists in his own soundworld, and what a soundworld it is. I tend to think of him as being most spiritually attuned to the French Impressionist composers (Ravel, Debussy), than the Russian tradition (Tchaikovsky, and later, Stravinksy). But even those categories don’t hold him very well.

The best word for Scriabin is probably ‘mystic’.

Here is Scriabin’s symphonic tone poem “Le Poeme de l’extace”, or “The Poem of Ecstasy”. This work is as astonishing to me now as it was when I first listened to it in college. I really try to avoid making visual and literary associations with concert music, but sometimes I can’t avoid it. This is one such work. It sounds to me like the union of a god with a goddess…and a universe springing to being afterward….

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One Response to Something for Thursday

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very nice. Thank you for sharing it.

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