Call for Papers Information Register Programme New Book!

To celebrate this special year, we're pleased to promote two new releases: an edited book, Demystifying Scriabin (Boydell & Brewer), and a new Urtext edition of the complete sonatas by Christoph Flamm.

Demystifying Scriabin

Edited by Kenneth Smith & Vasilis Kallis

Demystifying ScriabinThe book, containing 16 new essays, will be launched during the conference.

This book is an innovative contribution to Alexander Scriabin (1875-1915) studies, covering aspects of Scriabin's life, personality, beliefs, training, creative output, as well as his interaction with contemporary Russian culture. It offers new and original research from leading and upcoming Russian music scholars. Key Scriabin topics such as mysticism, philosophy, music theory, contemporary aesthetics, and composition processes are covered. Musical coverage spans the composer's early, middle and late period. All main repertoire is being discussed: the piano miniatures and sonatas as well as the symphonies. In more detail, chapters consider: Scriabin's part in early twentieth-century Russia's cultural climate; how Scriabin moved from early pastiche to a style much more original; the influence of music theory on Scriabin's idiosyncratic style; the changing contexts of Scriabin performances; new aspects of reception studies. Further chapters offer: a critical understanding of how Scriabin's writings sit within the traditions of Mysticism as well as French and Russian Symbolism; a new investigation into his creative compositional process; miniaturism and its wider context; a new reading of the composer's mysticism and synaesthesia. Analytical chapters reach out of the score to offer an interpretative framework; accepting new approaches from disability studies; investigating the complex interaction of rhythm and metre and modal interactions, the latent diatonic 'tonal function' of Scriabin's late works, as well as self-regulating structures in the composer's music.

Order from Boydell & Brewer


Part I. Shaping Creativity
1 About That Chord, and about Scriabin as a Mystic
Simon Morrison

2 Scriabin and the Russian Silver Age
Rebecca Mitchell

3 Scriabin as a Writer: The Development of Scriabin's Thought as Shown in a Lifetime's Writings
Simon Nicholls

4 Russian Pedagogy in Composition and Music Theory during Scriabin's Creative Period
Kostantin Zenkin

5 Studying Scriabin's Autographs: Reflections of the Creative Process
Pavel Shatskiy

Part II. The Music as Prism
6 Scriabin's Miniaturism
Stephen Downes

7 The Scriabin Tremor and Its Role in His Oeuvre
Inessa Bazayev

8 Demystifying the Mystic
Vasilis Kallis

9 Temporal Perspectives in Scriabin's Late Music
Antonio Grande

10 Scriabin's Multi-dimensional Accelerative Sonata Forms
Kenneth Smith

11 Setting Mystical Forces in Motion: The Dialectics of Scale-Type Integration in Three Late Works
Ross Edwards

Part III. Reception and Tradition

12 Scriabin's Synaesthesia: the Legend, the Evidence, and Its Implications for Multimedia Counterpoint
Anna Gawboy

13 Playing Scriabin: Reality and Enchantment
Marina Frolova-Walker

14 Scriabin and Music Analysis: The Search for the Holy Grail
Vasilis Kallis & Kenneth Smith

15 Scriabin and the Classical Tradition
Ildar Khannanov

16 Scriabin's Critical Reception: 'Genius or madman?'
James Kreiling

The Complete Sonatas, Bärenreiter Urtext Edition

Edited by Christoph Flamm

Coinciding with the centenary year, Bärenreiter have produced exceptional new editions of the sonatas, which will be promoted at the conference. These Urtext editions reflect the latest scholarship, taking previously unknown sources into account, and include all fragmentary works (some published for the first time), with extensive forewords (Ger/Eng) and critical commentary (Eng) from Scriabin scholar, Christoph Flamm.

As Christoph Flamm has written for the Scriabin Association:

Barenreiter"This new critical edition of Scriabin’s piano sonatas pursues a variety of objectives.

Firstly it is taking the title “complete piano sonatas” literally: for the first time, this edition is combining the 10 numbered sonatas with the unnumbered youthful sonatas as well as with all extant sonata fragments, music which has hardly ever (and even never before) been published.

Secondly the musical text is based on a comparison of all sources available, including sketches, first drafts, and autographs which have been deemed lost until recently, such as the autographs of the sonatas nos. 5, 6, and 7. In many cases, this material is being published as well, for example some sketches for the Third Sonata or the fragmentary first draft of the Ninth Sonata.

Thirdly the critical commentary seeks not only to list the discrepancies in the sources, but to discuss the editorial choices at length whenever this seems appropriate. Already Scriabin’s contemporaries have complained about the amount of errors in Scriabin’s manuscripts, many of which have entered the corresponding first editions. Then, we know from Scriabin’s own playing conserved on piano rolls that he did not follow any notion of Urtext, changing not only details, but even structural elements of his music when performing it. Both the composer’s errors and his flexible understanding of the written musical text have to be taken in mind when judging about variant readings in the sources.

Finally it is the editor’s conviction that a real understanding of Scriabin’s sonatas is possible only when being informed about the background of the music: the historical place of the sonatas, the composer’s biographical situation and aesthetical profile in the respective periods of composition, the composer’s programmatic ideas as discernible not only in the verbal elements of the scores, but in his letters and philosophical writings as well as in reminiscences of his contemporaries. It is for this reason that the prefaces to the editions are of exceptional length, not only covering genesis, source tradition and editorial principles, but giving in-depth information about the formal and semantical layers of the music, ultimately leading to a hermeneutical understanding of the sonatas as an artistic whole."