Piano Sonata No. 6 (Scriabin)

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The Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 62, by Alexander Scriabin was composed in 1911. Although it was named the sixth sonata, the piece was preceded by the Sonata No. 7. As it is one of the late piano sonatas of Scriabin's career, the music consists of a single movement, and is almost atonal. Scriabin reportedly never played the sonata in public, because he feared its darkness.

Structure and content[edit]

The piece consist of a single movement, typically lasting around 11–12 minutes, and is marked as follows:

  1. Modéré: mysterieux, concentré

The mood of the piece is marked "mysterieux" by the composer, but the most striking aspect of the sixth sonata, are the sudden moments of horror which interrupt its dreamlike atmosphere, and were explicitly marked "l'épouvante surgit" (surge of terror), by Scriabin. The final passages are colourful and languid, like an elaborate Debussy prelude, but darker forces are released at the end.[1] The Elektra chord is featured in the sonata.[2]

It is one of a few pieces Scriabin never played in public, because he felt it was "nightmarish, murky, unclean and mischievous".[1] He often started shuddering after playing a few measures for other people.[3]


  1. ^ a b Scriabin: The Piano Sonatas (CD liner). Vladimir Ashkenazy. Decca. 1997. p. 6. 
  2. ^ H. H. Stuckenschmidt; Piero Weiss. "Debussy or Berg? The Mystery of a Chord Progression", The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 3. (Jul., 1965), pp. 453-459.
  3. ^ Leonid Sabaneev (1925/2005). Erinnerungen an Alexander Skrjabin. Verlag Ernst Kuhn. German. ISBN 3-928864-21-1

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]