Observations placeholder

Scriabin

Identifier

005945

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

 

 There are in my opinion an inordinately large number of activities – events, illnesses and actions – that contributed to Scriabin's ability to produce music. Not all the acitivities were operating throughout his life, but if we sum up the contributions over his life we find all the following. 

  • Inherited genes - principally from his mother, who was an extremely gifted piano player and musician in her own right
  • Suppressing memory – Scriabin made a concerted effort to ignore all conventional behaviour and teaching, he was amoral as well as single minded in his belief of his own revealed truths, preferring to make his own path. Scriabin avidly followed the work of Friedrich Nietzsche in this respect

  • Unrequited love for both his first girlfriend and later his mistress, until he left his wife and went to live with his mistress

  • LOVE - a reciprocal love for his aunty and the support he got from his friends

  • Making love – his mistress and eventual common law wife Tatyana/Tatiana Fyodorovna Schloezer

  • Grief - With Schloezer, he had children, one of whom including a son named Julian Scriabin, who looked like he was going to take after his father, composing several musical works at an early age. Julian drowned in the Dnieper River at Kiev in 1919 at the age of 11 years old

  • Psychological trauma from the injured hand. His doctor said he would never recover, and he wrote his first large-scale masterpiece, his Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, as a "cry against God, against fate".

  • Migraine – from which he badly suffered, all his life

  • Being left-handed – the injury he suffered to his right hand forced him to use his left, he even wrote a piece for the left hand

  • Belief in the spiritual world – he was a follower of mysticism, a supporter of theosophy and an avid follower of Bal'mont, Solovyov and Trubetskoy. During 1909–10 he lived in Brussels, becoming interested in Jean Delville's Theosophist philosophy and read the books of Helena Blavatsky

  • Reducing threats/suppressing obligations – although beset by poverty at times, Scriabin was largely protected from everyday worries and obligations by two important patrons, who both supported him financially and emotionally – Mitrofan Belyayev and Margarita Morozova

  • Enacting ritual and ceremony – of which the culmination would have been the Mysterium

I think it is important here for me to state I do not think he 'heard' songlines in the way that the real mystic composers did.  But his music is interesting as an expression of the emotion he felt and his yearning for something that transcended the physical.  Overall it expresses yearning for something to which he gained a tantalising glimpse via all the activities above.

But Scriabin never heard celestial music .... and you can tell  

A description of the experience

I am indebted to Emanuel Garcia, the author of the paper on which the description for Scriabin is based, [see Sources] for selecting for me the following extracts, which he believes are extremely good examples of Scriabin's genius as well as wonderful interpretations of his work.  The descriptions are not mine they come from the accompanying videos:

Divine poem

Scriabin's Divine poem, poor sound quality, but magnificent interpretation by conductor  Golovanov 

Vers la Flamme

Horowitz playing a great late Scriabin piece Vers la Flamme:

Etude

Horowitz talks about his encounters with Scriabin and Rachmaninoff and plays the Scriabin etude for the composer's daughter on Scriabin's piano. 

Horowitz plays Scriabin Sonata No. 5 Op. 53 (a)

Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) Piano Sonata No. 5 Opus 53 Piano: Vladimir Horowitz Rec. 1976 ''I call you to life, O mysterious forces! Drowned in the obscure depths Of the creative spirit, timid Shadows of life, to you I bring daring.'' These are the words Scriabin took from his ''Poème d'extase'' to introduce this sonata. The sonata has been called ''a glorious afterthought'' to the ''Poem of Ecstacy''. The work strives for a similar orgiastic climax. The main expression in this work is ''birth'', the embryo of life that finds audacity! ...

Part 1:

Part 2:

 

The source of the experience

Scriabin

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References