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The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin

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Michael Pushkin
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format:
2 - DRM Adobe

Foreword: Vladimir Ashkenazy
Editorial procedure:
The translations
Russian dates
Preface : Simon Nicholls
Cultural context
Biographical elements
The Writings of Skryabin (Russkie propilei, Moscow, 1919)
[Note by Mikhail Gershenzon]
A Note by Boris de Schloezer on the Preliminary Action 4
The Notebooks:
I. A single sheet, written at the age of about sixteen
II. Period of the First Symphony, around 1900
III. Chorus from Symphony No. 1
IV. Libretto for an opera, after the First Symphony but before 1903
V. Notebook, summer 1904, Switzerland
VI. Notebook, 1904-5
VII. Notebook, 1905-6
VIII. The Poem of Ecstasy
IX. [The Preliminary Action]:
1. Initial version, full text
2. Final, fair copy of the text, unfinished
The Growth of Skryabin's Thought Simon Nicholls
A 'philosopher-musician'?
The influence of philosophy:
Music and philosophy
Skryabin's reading
Ernest Renan
Greek philosophy
German Idealism
Russian philosophy and Russian Symbolism
Conference at Geneva
The influence of Theosophy
Indian culture
Skryabin's philosophy of music
Skryabin's 'teaching'
Thought in words, music, colour: Skryabin's developing Symbolist practice
Skryabin's poetic language
The Poem of Ecstasy: text and music (1905-1908)
Prometheus: music, colour and the word (1908-1910)
The Preliminary Action:
A preliminary to what? - 'The idea of the Mystery'
(Leonid Sabaneyev)
Performance as sacrament
The music for the Preliminary Action
People and publications:
Leonid Sabaneyev
Mikhail Gershenzon and Russkie propilei
Supplementary texts by Alexander Skryabin:
I. Reminiscences of youth
II. Text to an unfinished Ballade for piano (1887)
III. Romance (1891)
IV. An early statement of aspiration (1892)
Letters to Natal'ya Sekerina:
V. [June 1892]
VI. [July 1892]
VII. [May/June 1893]
VIII. [June 1893]
Letters to Margarita Morozova:
IX. April 1904
X. [April/May 1906]

Letters to Tat'yana de Schloezer:
XI. [January 1905]
XII. [December 1906]
XIII. Poem to accompany Sonata No. 4.
XIV. Open Letter to A. N. Bryanchaninov: 'Art and Politics' (1915)
Biographical notes
Russian composer Alexander Skryabin's life spanned the late romantic era and the momentous early years of the twentieth century, but was cut short before the end of the first world war. In a predominantly conservative era in the Russian musical scene, he drew inspiration from poets, philosophers, and dramatists of the Silver Age, a period of radical artistic renewal in Russia. Possessed by an apocalyptic vision of transformation, aspects of which he shared with other Russian thinkers and artists of the period, Skryabin transformed his musical language from a ripe Romantic style into a far-reaching, radical instrument for the expression of his ideas.

This newly translated collection of the composer's writings and letters allows readers to experience and understand Skryabin's worldview, personality, and life as never before. The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin features commentary based on original materials and accounts by the composer's friends and associates, dispelling popular misconceptions about his life and revealing the dazzling constellation of philosophies that comprised his world of ideas, from Ancient Greek and German Idealist philosophy to the writings of Nietzsche, and Indian culture to the Theosophical writings of H. P. Blavatsky. Close textual readings and new biographical insights converge to present a vivid impression of Skryabin's thought and its impact on his musical compositions.

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