Composition Name: Vers la Flamme, Op. 72 (Toward The Flame)
Year Premiered: 1914
Location of Premier: It doesn’t say, but I’m guessing Russia since that’s where Scriabin ended up at the finish of his life. Dedication/Reason Written: It was inspired by Scriabin’s unconventional conviction that a constant buildup of heat would ultimately cause the destruction of the world.
Composer: Alexander Scriabin
Style Period: Twentieth Century
Elements of the Composer’s Style Found in the Composition: Scriabin used a typical style of his works, harmonic relationships in thirds.
Genre: Tone poem for piano
Why Characteristic of the Genre: It’s a symphonic poem. It started out as an orchestral work, then a sonata, but ended as a piece specifically for piano. It tells a story, which is unknown, displayed through various harmonic progressions, over 5 against 9 patterns.
Textures Found/Instrumentation: For piano
Form: It has four sections, with variations of the A and B themes.
Movement Descriptions: Section 1 goes from measure 1 to 27. It has both the A and B themes intertwined over block chords. Section 2 goes from 41 to 65. At the beginning of this section, there is a fluctuating bass and middle voice with various rhythmic motives. At the closer end of the section, only the middle voice fluctuates, while the bass line arpeggios various chords. Section 3 has an A’, B, and transition theme. All three parts between measures 77-95 have rapid triplets, whether it’s over chords, leaping bass line, or alternating with tremolos or high-pulsed chords. Finally, section 4 goes from 107 to 125. Similar to section 3, it has tremolos and high-pulsed chords, with a look back on both the A and B themes, but the B theme has been cut short and is only the beginning. The piece overall isn’t technically tonal, but has variations of two triton sets, E-A#-G#-D, with a few C# or F#’s intertwined. And the final note, D#, releases the tension that would’ve been felt....
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