Skrjabin and dance, in “Slavia”,
III, 1999, pp.120-55.
Apart from the Sonatas,
approximately a half among Skrjabin’s piano compositions are written in a ¾
time. Together with waltzs and mazurkas,
the whole of “Fogli d’album”
and several Studies , Preludes and Poems bear the ¾
indication . This is particularly significant as to Skrjabin’s interest
in dance which, owing precisely to a ¾ proceeding, very frequently shows some
of its most unmistakable features.
Skrjabin’s interest in dance covered the whole of his artistic life, and
already showed itself in his early compositions, which are to a great extent
waltzs and mazurkas. His notes for the libretto of an opera which remained
unfinished date back to those years, around the end of 19th century. Among such
notes the following “Dance song” is included:
“Raving dance/Give oblivion With powerful enchantment/Interrupt my torture
Life is suffering/Life is doubt You are dream/You are delight Charming dance/Give
relief Like a prodigious healer/Solve my doubt”.
All the works written in those early years, from the Second sonata op. 19 (1896)
to the First symphony op. 26 (1900), to the Nine Mazurkas op. 25 (1900) share
one expressing climate which is similar to the one of the unfinished opera, that
is to say languishing and decadent: from 1900 to 1905 a singular change takes
place in Skrjabin’s personal and artistic attitude, which from sad and
melancholy turns more and more to bright and extroverted; it is a real change of
perspective, involving the whole of Skrjabin’s artistic production in all of
its components; such a change is also perceivable on analyzing the key tonalities of his piano works: in the early period minor tonalities
prevail, while in the second period the major ones predominate.
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