Tone Poem Tuesday

Time for a departure for this series: instead of an orchestral work, a solo piano work! This is the Piano Sonata No. 9 by Alexander Scriabin, a single-movement work that is highly unsettling and even delirious as it moves through its eight minutes. The piece’s dissonance and reliance on trills throughout creates a strong feel of unsettling unstability, so much so that the work took on the nickname “The Black Mass,” as a counterpart to an earlier of Scriabin’s that was subtitled “The White Mass”.

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