24 Preludes, Op. 11 (Scriabin)

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Alexander Scriabin's 24 Preludes, Op. 11 is a set of preludes composed in the course of eight years between 1888–96,[n 1][1] being also one of Scriabin's first published works with M.P. Belaieff in 1897,[n 2][1] in Leipzig, Germany, together with his 12 Études, Op. 8 (1894–95).

Structural analysis[edit]

Scriabin's 24 preludes were modeled after Frédéric Chopin's own set of 24 Preludes, Op. 28: They also covered all 24 major and minor keys and they follow the same key sequence: C major, A minor, G major, E minor, D major, B minor and so on, alternating major keys with their relative minors, and following the ascending circle of fifths.

It is considered an outstanding twentieth-century stylish piece among Scriabin's early works, with easy-to-difficult numbers, among them No. 2 in A minor, No. 3 in G major, No. 6 in B minor, No. 8 in F-sharp minor, No. 14 in E-flat minor, No. 15 in D-flat major, No. 16 in B-flat minor, No. 18 in F minor, and No. 24 in D minor.[2]

Tempo markings[edit]

  • No. 1 in C major – Vivace
  • No. 2 in A minor – Allegretto
  • No. 3 in G major – Vivo
  • No. 4 in E minor – Lento
  • No. 5 in D major – Andante cantabile
  • No. 6 in B minor – Allegro
  • No. 7 in A major – Allegro assai
  • No. 8 in F-sharp minor – Allegro agitato
  • No. 9 in E major – Andantino
  • No. 10 in C-sharp minor – Andante
  • No. 11 in B major – Allegro assai
  • No. 12 in G-sharp minor – Andante
  • No. 13 in G-flat major – Lento
  • No. 14 in E-flat minor – Presto
  • No. 15 in D-flat major – Lento
  • No. 16 in B-flat minor – Misterioso
  • No. 17 in A-flat major – Allegretto
  • No. 18 in F minor – Allegro agitato
  • No. 19 in E-flat major – Affettuoso
  • No. 20 in C minor – Appassionato
  • No. 21 in B-flat major – Andante
  • No. 22 in G minor – Lento
  • No. 23 in F major – Vivo
  • No. 24 in D minor – Presto

Prelude in C major, Op. 11, No. 1[edit]

Alexander Scriabin's Prelude in C major, Op. 11, No. 1, was composed in November 1895 in Moscow.[1] Here Scriabin's virtuosic sustain pedaling assembles clusters of up to seven different diatonic notes in an exquisite sonority that Scriabin himself used to describe as a "psychic shift".[3]

The whole melody of this prelude consists of 240 eighth-notes,[3] being the opening chord of this piece C–D–E–F–G–A, with the C-major tonic in the bass.[3] The time value for each eighth note changes whenever the tempo flexes, as can be noticed in the second group of notes in the 2nd bar, which measures less than half the tempo of the second group in the 14th bar.[3] This piece has 36 bars and takes about one minute to be played with a Vivace tempo marking.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Scriabin did not write the 24 preludes chronologically, but instead in different places over the course of eight years. Prelude No. 4 was written in Moscow in 1888, followed by No. 6 in 1889 in Kiev. No. 10 was written in 1893–4 in Moscow, and No. 14 in 1895 in Dresden. Nos. 3, 19, 24 in 1895 in Heidelberg, and Nos. 12, 17, 18 and 23 also in 1895 in Witznau. No. 5 was written in 1896 in Amsterdam, Nos. 8 and 22 also in 1896 in Paris, while Nos. 1, 2, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 20 and 21 were written that same year in Moscow.
  2. ^ Belyayev divided the preludes into four parts of six preludes each.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hwa-Young, Lee (2006). Tradition and Innovation in the Twenty-Four Preludes, Opus 11, of Alexander Scriabin (PDF). University of Texas. p. 9. 
  2. ^ Friskin, James; Freundlich, Irwin (1954). Music for the Piano: A Handbook of Concert and Teaching Material from 1580 to 1952. Courier Dover Publications. p. 241. ISBN 0486229181. 
  3. ^ a b c d Leikin, Anatole (2011). The Performing Style of Alexander Scriabin. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 35–54. ISBN 0754660214. 

External links[edit]