I will be performing a recital at the Scriabin Memorial Museum in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, September 26, starting at 19:00 h. The museum is housed in the two-story mansion in the Old Arbat section of Moscow where Scriabin spent the last three years of his life (April 12 to April 1915) and composed his final piano pieces, including the sonatas that will be heard at the concert.
The first half of the program will consist of Scriabin’s last three piano sonatas (Op.66, 68 and 70), composed at the same time in 1912-1913 and finished in the summer of 1913. Although sharply contrasting in character, they have in common their general harmonic vocabulary and mystical mood, probably connected with the idea of the “Mysterium” (a gigantic fusion of all arts, projected but never realized) that occupied Scriabin during the last years of his life.
The second part will feature a large-scale work rarely heard before: the piano sonata, Op.15, by Leonid Sabaneev (composer, musicologist, music critic, mathematician, Scriabin’s close acquaintance and biographer). While he became most notorious for his musicological writings, Sabaneev’s own music has remained practically forgotten to date, in spite of its considerable interest. Among his compositions for piano, the most significant and ambitious is his sonata, Op.15, composed in 1915 and dedicated to the memory of Scriabin. This complex work consists of one single, extended movement, tightly organized thematically around a few generating motives, pianistically demanding and – although reminiscent of Scriabin – original and highly significant on its own.
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Sonata no.8, Op.66
Sonata no.9, Op.68
Sonata no.10, Op.70
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Leonid SABANEEV (1881-1968)
Sonata, Op.15, “To the memory of Scriabin”