Talk:Alexander Scriabin

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Second paragraph largely redundant[edit]

Second paragraph basically restates the first, with a sonata listed as an example. Otherwise it's not necessary and is clunky to boot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:20, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

If Scriabin was a progenitor of serialism, please explain[edit]

I'm removing the notion that Scriabin was a progenitor of serialism. It wasn't cited, and it doesn't seem to have any validity. But it's echoing at, Young Composers, etc. The author of the opening paragraph also seems to think that atonality and the 12-tone method are one smooth continuum of modern radicalism. There are 15 years separating the two in Schoenberg's career, and serialism is a direction that atonalists in general (and fans of Schoenberg in general) are quite divided on. When people let the word "serialism" stand for "extreme/pure atonality", they create a false polemic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blcarson (talkcontribs) 06:54, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't think of Scriabin as atonal at all. As this article mentions, Scriabin uses many dominant seventh chords, which strongly indicate tonality. Scriabin's tonality is thus constantly shifting. This is quite different from atonality on the early Schoenberg model, where there is no implication of a tonal center; for instance, in Pierrot Lunaire. Scriabin's constantly shifting tonality is is more akin to the non-functional harmonic sequences and whole tone scales of Debussy. Larry Koenigsberg (talk) 05:11, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Weak music section[edit]

There is barely anything about the music in the music section. Odd criticisms from other composers and the like are interesting, but hardly central. The synesthesia section is larger than the small paragraph about the music itself. For one thing, I've always been struck by how Scriabin's late sonatas (5 and on) can be called jazz. Has anyone written an article or book with this comparison? Where is the discussion of how groundbreaking the 5th sonata was when it was performed? Rachmaninov's reaction? The reaction of his former composition teacher ("beaten by sticks")? The 5th sonata alone, and Scriabin's short pieces from that period deserve an entire section because they were a major breakthrough in Russian music and classical in general. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:13, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Promethean Chords[edit]

When I type in the word 'promethean chords' I always come up to a composition by Scriabin. I think it was used in his later work, to describe whenever he used a handful of notes to create one enormous chord on the piano. Is Scriabin the only guy who used Promethean Chords in his work? I think maybe a scholar or a hardcore piano musician may be able to help clarify this.

Hm. I always thought that people were talking about "The Promethean Chord"; using the name to refer to a specific chord shape that Scriabin invented (as far as you can "invent" a chord, anyway). It's mentioned in the film The Caveman's Valentine (for which we don't seem to have an article). The "Caveman," as he's called, describes it as... Well, I don't remember exactly. Something like "Nothing but a minor 7th with a bunch of hocus-pocus suspensions thrown in." I know he said "with a bunch of hocus-pocus suspensions thrown in," but I don't remember what the first part really was. ("Suspensions" are certain pitches, usually a 2nd or a 4th, used in a chord where a 3rd would ordinarily be used. Sorry, that's a very bad explanation. But for an idea of what they sound like: those last three chords in Bach's "Tocatta and Fugue" are, in order, a Sus4, Sus2, and major chord, all with the same root note)Marksman45 03:06, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
See the very stubby Synthetic chord. Hyacinth 11:07, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Synaesthesia speculation[edit]

I'm seeing a possible contradiction between articles re/ Scriabin's ability/condition... This article refers to Scriabin as a synesthete, yet the synaesthesia article claims: Alexander Scriabin may have been, but probably wasn't, a synesthete. The color system he described and which he used in pieces such as Prometheus, unlike most systems and synaesthetic experience, line up with the circle of fifths, indicating that it was a thought out system that was also influenced by his theosophic readings, and based on Sir Isaac Newton's Optics. -- Ds13 20:19, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I would agree with the assertions on Synestheia that Scriabin probably wasn't a synesthetete (of course, because I added it). Check the external links at the bottom, those are what I based this conclusion on. Hyacinth 21:52, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Sources & Synaesthesia[edit]

I think sources like Samson 1977 and Rudhyar 1926b (presumably books) should be listed in a References section. These sources are at least as important as external links.

On a sidenote, I think the synaesthesia-issue is out of place in its present form. The part about synaesthesia seems to be inspired by only one (extensive) online source which tries to argue against Scriabin experiencing the physiological condition of synaesthesia. It is a little strange to learn from an article like this that 'Scriabin most likely was NOT a physiological synaesthete' (as if the reader thought he was, or heard someone say he was). It would be better to cover the debate as a whole instead of attacking a position that isn't even mentioned before. But then, how relevant is this issue altogether? Which important sources do consider Scriabin to be a synaesthete; or why is it so important to argue against this position? - Strangeloop (talk) 09:51, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

By "out of place" you mean incorrect? Examples of the position that he was a synaesthete include wikipedia (obviously you'll have to wait for other examples):
  • [1]: "The colors used for each pitch were actually derived from Scriabin's synaesthesia, a condition wherein one experiences stimulus in one sense in response to real stimulus in another sense. In Scriabin's case individual pitches and even chords produced a sensation of color or colors (see clavier à lumières for the colors)."
  • [2]: "Scriabin selected the colors based on his synaesthetic experience."
The article does not state, out of the blue, that some position never before encountered by the reader is not true. You actually left out the exact words you disagree with: "Though often considered derived from Scriabin's synaesthesia..."
Do you disagree that he was not a synaesthete? Do you actually disagree that no one thought or thinks he was? Do you think that the information regarding influences on his synaesthetic system hurt the article?
Considering that you appear to be requesting someone make a correction you yourself are unable to make or determine is necessary, what would your standard be for "relevance" and the "importance" of sources? Hyacinth 20:20, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I don't disagree with what the article says, let me be clear about that. By 'out of place' I do not mean 'incorrect'; note the addition in its present form. My main point is just that the way the article now talks about Scriabin's (non)synaestesia is maybe not the most logical way to talk about the issue in the context of the article. When I read this article for the very first time (which was recently), the paragraph in question did strike me as being phrased a little illogical; I literally thought 'Huh? As if I thought he was or as if the article mentioned he was considered to be - did I miss something?'.
Well, maybe I did miss something, namely the phrase you are (rightly) quoting: 'Though often considered...'. But that's exactly my point: I would think that is too meager. I think the article would benefit from sketching the debate (if there is any) more fully, before attacking whatever assertion. And if there is no debate, it might be more appropriate to say something like 'Judging from works like Prometheus: TPoF, one might consider Scriabin to be synaesthetic. However, the fact that so and so (color system) indicates that this conclusion is unwarranted.'
Concerning your last point, some clarification seems in place indeed. By using the words 'relevant' and 'important', I do not mean 'relevancy' or 'importance' judging from some absolute standard. I used this concepts with regard to the context the article provides; thus, I was asking something like: 'In the article (in its present form), how relevant or important is the debate (again, if there is any debate) about Scriabin's synaesthesia? And what sources exactly do advance the position that is attacked in the article?'. If there would be no clear sources outside of Wikipedia, this would not render the issue irrelevant; one could always say something like I proposed above ('one might consider...').
I hope I'm being clear now. Once more I want to stress that I don't disagree with any of the conclusions being drawn in the article. In short, maybe the issue at hand boils down to this: the phrase 'though often considered' is not very encyclopedic unless there is provided some source; if there is no clear source, the point could be restated like I proposed above. - Strangeloop (talk) 22:48, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • John Harrison (2001). Synaesthesia: The Strangest Thing, ISBN 0192632450: "In fact, there is considerable doubt about the legitimacy of Scriabin's claim, or rather the claims made on his behalf, as we shall discuss in Chapter 5." (p.31-2)
  • Victoria Finlay (2003). Color: A Natural History of the Palette, ISBN 0345444: "Scriabin was synaesthetic, which meant his brain made connections between things that the majority of people do not believe to be fundamentally connected." (p.196)
  • B. M. Galeyev and I. L. Vanechkina (August 2001). "Was Scriabin a Synesthete?", Leonardo, Vol. 34, Issue 4, pp. 357 - 362: "authors conclude that the nature of Scriabin’s 'color-tonal' analogies was associative, i.e. psychological; accordingly, the existing belief that Scriabin was a distinctive, unique 'synesthete' who really saw the sounds of music—that is, literally had an ability for 'co-sensations'— is placed in doubt."


I'm gonna nitpick at something, if I may. The article says, "...became a noted pianist despite his small hands with a span of barely over an octave." I'm a bit confused; "barely over an octave" is quite a distance on a piano, and not one that someone with small hands (at least not what I would call small hands) could span.

A photo example. This photograph shows my hand, which (to my mind,at least) have a somewhat larger span than average, spanning across one octave on a piano with standard-sized keys. (By extending my thumb to a nearly 90 degree angle from my hand and my pinky to a 45 degree angle, I can accurately reach the next two white keys past that octave)Marksman45 03:52, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

No offense, but your piano could use some repairs! (see photo) Grover cleveland 16:22, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Relatively speaking, that is a small handspan. Fredrick Chopin used ninths in many of his works such as the fantasy impromptu. Beethoven wrote a tenth to be rolled(i can't remember which work). Liszt commonly uses tenths and even elevenths like in his consolations. Anton rubenstein wrote 11ths in Melody in F. Rachmaninoff could play 13ths and I personally can play a 12th so I'd say that's a pretty small handspan. I find it interesting that scriabin wrote 11th's in his op 8 no 12. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stewy5714 (talkcontribs) 17:56, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Scriabin vs. Schoenberg & Stravinsky[edit]

I'm the user who added the February 2006 derogatory comment about Scriabin's comparison with Stravinsky and Schoenberg. I now have a user name: Atavi.

All in all, I agree that the comment is unnecessary, but only to who are familiar with all three composers. I suppose POV means "point of view". I disagree that it is a point of view. I understand that Schoenberg is widely recognised as one of the most important composers of the 20th century and Stravinsky is also quite important, if only for his Rite of Spring. On the other hand I dare say that Scriabin is a minor composer. What I think is that I am pointing out a 20th century analogue of a Baroque, Alessandro Scarlatti (or even J.S. Bach as far as Schoenberg goes) versus Tommaso Redi (I hope I am not doing an injustice to Redi by comparing him to Scriabin) distinction. This might be useful for those who are not familiar with the work of all composers involved.

Atavi, you're a great contributor to Wikipedia but this is unworthy of you. The relative "importance" of composers is obviously a value judgment or opinion, not an objective fact about which no reasonable observer could disagree, and can therefore be POV unless it is clearly attributed to a source. You obviously don't think much of Scriabin: many others (including me) do. As I'm sure you know it's not the role of Wikipedia editors to insert their own judgments about these things.
Out of interest, how "important" would J.S. Bach himself have been considered before around 1800? We know that during his lifetime he was considered far less eminent than rivals such as Handel and Telemann. This just goes to show how ephemeral judgments about the apparent "importance" of musical figures (perhaps even Schoenberg) could be.
Keep up the good work on the music articles. Grover cleveland 06:44, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Grover cleveland, thank you for your praise.
As far as Scriabin goes, I can't say you wrong in any of your points.
Especially the apparent importance of composers does seem to change enormously in the course of time: Telemann, Bach, Vivaldi, Mahler and the list is endless.
In the end I'm not qualified to make a judgement about Scriabin's value, so I didn't pursue this. I know by now that personal opinions shouldn't be inserted, but unfortunately I didn't know at the time.
Anyway, on to new things, and of course I must requite:
Keep up the good work.
---Atavi 08:16, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Cause of death[edit]

I've always read that he contracted septicaemia after an insect bite became infected. Here we say it came from a shaving cut. What's the truth? JackofOz 05:38, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

It seems that he had a type of boil on his upper lip, which was infected. I don't think anyone knows precisely what caused it, although from our Boil article, it seems that shaving can cause boils, but I don't think we can say for sure either way. Perhaps it would be better to just say he died of blood poisoning from an infected wound or something. Mak (talk) 06:12, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
We need a reference for the cause of death. Stewy5714 01:57, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I remember Lenny Bernstein telling me that Scriabn died of Necrotizing fasciitis. My memory of this conversation could be wrong, because this was quite a few years ago. Gingermint (talk) 00:16, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Link from CNN[edit]

FYI. --badlydrawnjeff talk 20:16, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Julian calendar[edit]

Why would it be necessary to point out that he was born on a date based on the Julian calendar? Was Russia using a different calendar in 1872 such that the distinction is necessary? --Easter Monkey 06:22, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Russia switched to the Gregorian calendar at some time in the early 20th century: I don't remember exactly when. It's customary to indicate which calendar is used for dates around this era. Grover cleveland 06:45, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Russia switched on 14 February 1918 - see Gregorian Calendar#Adoption. -- JackofOz 01:35, 22 September 2007 (UTC)


For all you crazy, wannabe synesthetes.

Skrjabin Alexander.jpg This user is a mad pianist like Alexander Scriabin.

 Stewy5714 00:26, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


The article should not have a reference and bibliography section. That is a bit redundant. I'll try to fix this. Also I will add a See Also section.  Stewy5714 02:16, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I also think that the article should be structured better. It is part of wikipedia composers project so it should at least try to follow the general outline of composer articles. Does anyone have any ideas?  Stewy5714 00:38, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I have some comments...[edit]

I just read the section on Scriabin and Rachmaninoff in Harold C. Schonberg's work, "The Lives of the Great Composers" and it says that Scriabin graduated from the Moscow conservatory with the "Little" gold medal. The Wikipedia article flatly says Scriabin failed his composition classes and did not graduate. Also referencing Schonberg's work, perhaps we should have more quotations made by Scriabin himself and showcasing his strange, cryptic writings and later obsessions. His plans for "Mysterium" seemed insane.

I don't know if it's correct to say he was one of the precursors to serialism and atonality. His late works are harsh, dissonant, and emphasize texture, to be sure, but he never actually used serialism and I don't think the modernist ideal of creating a completely "new" musical system as associated with Schoenberg and the modernist movement was his goal. I would liken his use of the synthetic chord more to late impressionism, with all their emphasis on harmonic ambiguity (whole-tone scale, octatonic scale, etc.).

It should be worth noting that both he and Rachmaninoff were formidable pianists. Scriabin toured and gave concerts.

Romantic Tonality 09:33, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Romantic Tonality completely, and made some hopefully appropriate revisions. I understand the Symbolism association might be debated, but I do feel it is a more appropriate emphasis than serialism or atonality. The biographical info I obtained from some Russian sites (eg. and didn't bother to reference. Unfortunately, I do not own Faubion Bower's purportedly excellent book.
This article really could use some work!.. As usual, the mirroring of Wikipedia means that it has a heavier presence in webspace than it merits. Fully welcoming feedback! Eliezg 09:31, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Scriabin failed his composition class because he refused to complete six assigned pieces in forms he found archaic. He wrote a fugue and a canon, two out of the six, as I recall. Plus, his fugue was subsequently taught to students by the conservatory for decades to follow - so much for failure. As for serialism, he certainly is, as far as I've seen, the precursor to 12 tone music. I suggest reading about his "mystic chord" and the subsequent work of his student Roslavets. Even though Scriabin's atonality came from mysticism, the result is more important than the intention. "Harsh" and "dissonant" are not deep critical analysis, and whether or not he was "insane" is immaterial. His 7th sonata is a flawless piece to my ear, even though he struggled with its ending. To many casual listeners anyway, serialism can be gibberish. As for the Little versus Great Gold Medal, that's because he had the unfortunate circumstance of being in Rachmaninov's class, even though he was younger I believe. Rachmaninov was considered the superior pianist (compare hand sizes for a start) and won the medal for his opera Aleko. Scriabin, by contrast, focused mostly on composing miniatures and had injured his hand practicing Lizst's Don Juan fantasy. I am hazy on this, but I think he submitted his first piano sonata for judgement after the hand injury, which he had composed as a reaction to it. It's not surprising the conservatory gave Rachmaninov the larger medal, considering that he wrote an opera based on Pushkin and was a more conventional pianist, although I recall there was some complaint later concerning his restrained used of rubato. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:09, 13 February 2009 (UTC)


I ALSO have some comments. I recently included Scriabin's bisexuality as documented in Faubion Bowers autobiography of the composer, however, UN-surprisingly this was transformed and then omitted altogether. I thought that wikipedia remained an objective medium, despite some peoples revulsion at the fact that the composer perhaps was impartial to a bit of manly lovin'. So where has it gone?

I have reinserted the material regarding Scriabin's sexuality. As it is proprely cited, it should not have been removed.THD3 18:36, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Apparently, it was deleted again by an anonymous user about a year ago and never noticed. I've reinsterted it.THD3 (talk) 15:59, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
i'd say that sentence should be removed -- on its own it is just a very vague, bolt-on claim.
jonathan riley (talk) 19:11, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

More thorough explanation of how any sort of evidence I think is necessary. How can that just be tacked on with some source and have no explanation because it is a very bold claim and also reeks of Revisionism. More and more I see all these composers pages filled with questioning their sexuality. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:53, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

If you read the section of Bowers' book dealing with Scriabin's purported homo-/bisexuality (available in Google Books, though limited views), you find: 1) his piano teacher was rumored to be something of a paedophile, always teaching male students in his home and allowing some to board with him, 2) various contemporaneous American reviewers commented on the "effeminacy" of Scriabin's works, 3) a claim that Russian musicians often married Jewish women, perhaps because of some hidden deficiency of masculinity, 4) his extant letters to a teacher were as effusive as those of a lovestruck girl, 5) a number of his close friends were big, burly types, unlike Scriabin, who was slight, 5) his music carried erotic titles, and that 6) Imperial Russia was in general a hotbed of sin.
In other words, we have a clear case of guilt by association/stereotype.
Allow me to do the same for the author: Bowers went to Julliard, known to have teachers and students of the gay persuasion... Bowers was a Japanese translator during World War II. How many linguists have been recently tossed out of the US Army because of "Don't ask, don't tell? Hundreds, I tell you, hundreds! While in Japan, he met and married the daughter of the Indian ambassador -- well, if Russian musicians married Jewish women because of their lack of manhood, what about Americans who marry Indian women? He also successfully fought a prohibition of Kabuki theater (need I say more?) And what of the name "Faubion"? That must have marked forever a young lad growing up in Oklahoma during the Twenties...
See how easy this is?

Janko (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 10:54, 24 August 2010 (UTC).


Why was my addition on Scriabin's chracter removed!? This is the second time this has happened! I could not add citations because the i.p. on this computer was blocked for some absurd reason. My initial addition on Scriabins possible homosexual encounters where removed because someone was unhapy, now yet another person has deemed my additions 'unworthy'. What on eart was wrong with the 'character' section i added. I am currently reading Faubion Bowers' biogrpahy of the composer and a pattern is emerging of my additions being altered, or else completely eradicated! WHY? Ahh, now i see, unverifiable and unencyclopedic. Well, it can be verified by Faubion Bowers biography of the composer. And as for the 'unencyclopedic' traits; i think that is absurd. Becaus ei comment on his meek and effeminate nature? Does that shatter Scriabin's character to shards? No, it was his nature, it is documented by MANY of Scriabin's peers, contemporaries and critics.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

This is the passage in question:
Scriabin was a very delicate man; soft in physique and manner. His upbringing was overseen by 3 women (his grandmother, great aunt and aunt) who doted and fussed over the young "Sasha", turning him into a precocious child. His excessive manners and immaculate appearance possibly arose from this atmosphere. He was often described as effeminate; one American reviewer commented that the only thing redeeming Scriabin from effeminacy was his beard and mustache. Nor was Scriabin a keen drinker. Despite immaculate appearance and mannerisms, it is perhaps surprising to note that Scriabin was woefully forgetful. Family members were asked to purchase him second hand items such as gloves and umbrellas on account of the manifold instances in which he lost such items. It is also said that Scriabin was an incredibly charming and magnetic man who "cast spells" on even passive listeners and audiences with his character.
There doesn't seem to be any content here per se that is patently inappropriate for a Wikipedia biography. His physical frailty, aversion to drink, forgetfulness, upbringing by women, powerful charisma all contribute to the understanding of an musician whose whose art and philosophy was probably not too far removed from a strong and idiosyncratic personality. These are all also widely confirmed and fully "verifiable" assertions. Blanket removal was probably uncalled for, especially since such gestures can be taken personally and no one should be discouraged from contributing.
However, this passage does need major revision. The most important problems are:
  • it was placed arbitrarily in the "Biography" section between "Conservatory" and "Career". A separate section (perhaps on "Personality and Philosophy" including the similarly misplaced "Philosophy" subsection under "Music") would be more appropriate.
  • "soft in physique and manner" is not very well put ... does that mean his muscles were flabby? his handshake was squishy?;
  • "cast spells ... with his character" is somewhere between cliche and nonsense;
  • There are lots of peacock and weasel terms and other ways in which the passage can fairly be considered unencyclopedic in style. Some examples: "it is perhaps surprising" (peacock); "Is is also said that ... incredible charming and magnetic" (weasely and not dispassionate);
  • There are many (not "manifold"!) examples of language that is distractingly flowery, vague, and occasionally just incorrect: "excessive manners"; "woefully forgetful"; "keen drinking"; "manifold instances".
  • The whole thing needs a smattering of references, especially the anecdotal data.
If the passage were reworked and integrated in an appropriate way in the flow of the article, I certainly think that it would benefit.
Best, Eliezg 00:00, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

All right, i see your problems. However, i think it would be more helpful if those of us trying to contribute weren't poached for our inability to use Wikipedia's editing system. My lack of knowledge had me putting the issues i had on his sexuality and character in the "i have some comments" here due to a insufficient knowledge of Wikipedia's 'constructive savoire faire'. The citations which were not supplied in the character section can be found in Faubion Bower's biography.

Hi there. If you would care to provide some specific page references from the biography and perhaps add some quotations from it, it would make it easier for the material to be included in the article.--Atavi (talk) 18:10, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to point out briefly that "delicacy" and being raised by women does not necessarily relate to a person's sexual orientation. NFL defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo is gay and rugby player Ian Roberts is gay. On the flipside there are men like Clay Aiken and Carson Kressley. Leather muscle bars originated in the gay community and some of the most dedicated body builders are gay. So, masculinity comes in a wide continuum for gay men as well as heterosexual men. Just because a man is "effeminate" doesn't mean he's necessarily gay or bi, as the very masculine gay men like Roberts and Tuaolo don't suggest that masculine men in general are gay. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:22, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Transliteration of S's name[edit]

I knew, when planning to look at the Wikipedia article of Scriabin, that by some process a choice would have been made as to which spelling to use to transliterate his name into English. (In fact, I am relying on Wikipedia for the "standard" spelling of foreign, transliterated names - maybe not a good idea?) Can anyone shed light on how they arrived at "Scriabin" for the title of the article, rather than "Skryabin"? I assume it is probably simply that more occurrences of "Scriabin" can be found on search engines, but I would like to know how the decision was made. I also think that, for research purposes and for transparency, it would be nice if somewhere in the fine print of articles such as this with transliterations which may be questioned there was a brief note as to how/when/by whom a potentially controversial transliteration was arrived at. Thanks! Dveej 11:35, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, perhaps a comment on the, many different eglish translations - well lets be honest - spellings - of a name might be nice. However, i wonder if the reason that Scriabin was chosen was simple that is how his name is commonly spelledÀ5� in English and would just help people find the entry. It is after all the spelling most often - if not always - used on English additions of his work. English spellings - whether Scriabin, Skryabin, etc are simply relative anyway and a matter of some contention. Perhaps you could add a section at the beginning listing the various spellings? Then adding a section on the rational for those spellings? Crowleys Aunt 11:46, 19 October 2007 (UTC)


Why, exactly, was a neutrality tag put on this page? Is it appropriate to do so without any justification? Eliezg 09:34, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I just have to second the query regarding the reasoning behind the "neutrality" tag. Why exactly is it here? Although i dislike personally editing WIKI pages this tag just seems silly - and a reminder of the nonsense that tends to be connected with any WIKI entry that has any connection with the esoteric. Unless reason is given shortly - and I can remember how - I will remove the tag Crowleys Aunt 11:37, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I cannot determine any legitimate reason for a neutrality tag to be added. If someone added a POV statement like "Scriabin is the greatest composer ever" then it would be legitimate. I am sending a request to the poster asking why the tag was added.THD3 18:41, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
There has been no response as to why the tag was added. I am deleting it.THD3 13:54, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, it has been a while since i've last logged in. I'm glad you have removed the neutrality tag, it was improper. I believe my reason was for the statement, "No composer has had more scorn heaped or greater love bestowed...". Leo Tolstoy once described Scriabin's music as "a sincere expression of genius". I completely overlooked the reference and carelessly added the tag. I have been known to do things like that around midnight...  Stewy5714 22:16, 30 October 2007 (UTC)


As per Wikipedia:Trivia sections I've moved these facts to the talk page, where you might want to discuss if they are important enough to be incorporated into the article or should just be deleted. Tim Vickers 01:40, 4 November 2007 (UTC)


  • A comparison of the creative trajectories of Rachmaninov and Scriabin has fueled psychoanalytic speculation on the distinction between talent and genius.[1]
  • The graphic above depicting a colored keyboard is not entirely correct: the colors shown do not relate to the particular tones of the twelve-tone system, but to the tonalities starting with those keys. Also note that Scriabin did not, as far as this theory is concerned, recognize a difference between a major and a minor tonality of the same name (for example: c-minor and C-Major).
  • His symphony, Poem of Ecstasy, appears in the soundtrack of the 1987 film Barfly, starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway.
  • The Etude Op.8 No.12 was used in the 1988 film Madame Sousatzka, starring Shirley MacLaine
  • The intro to Michael Martin Murphey's song Wildfire was based on a piece by Scriabin.

Reorganization of Biography section[edit]

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to reorganize the biography section. I feel it does not give enough information about his later career and that it could be sectioned better. Why is there a line talking about his son's death under the "death" section?  Stewy5714talk 21:30, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Not only that, but there are some unbelievable, sloppy mistakes! Mix ups in chronology and a horribly muffled relation to events and times! Then there are just some plain wrong things! It seems so arbitrary. I'm working on drastically improving this section and have begun. I don't know how to cite, or structure or add any fancy titles. So i will add the content and whomever can fiddle around with the headings and organization of the material. Aaron. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:45, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I'll add the references to the material if you tell me where you got it in the edit summary.  Stewy5714talk 18:07, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Still very ugly! I've tried to smarten it up a little bit, but there is an awful lot to do here. Need reliable sources, as usual :-O
jonathan riley (talk) 14:05, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Russian pronunciation[edit]

Wrong: Aleksandr Nikolaevič Skrjabin.

Must be: Aleksandr Nikolajevič Skr'abin (r'- soft sound r, je - 2 sounds (not 1), r'a - 2 sounds(not 3)).

I can't edit. Edit, please.

I've fixed it. Pronunciations should be in IPA, not in phonetic transcription systems based on cyrillic. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 18:42, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
The IPA "English" pronunciation given is the American 'Scriahbin'; on the BBC I've only ever heard 'Scriabbin', which is more like the Russian as given. Rothorpe (talk) 20:14, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Piano rolls[edit]

I have put some information on piano rolls, and references, under the "Performers and Legacy" heading, and I have amended the text in the "Media" section accordingly. Unless there are original documents that prove otherwise, then the recording date for the Welte rolls must be February 1910, as indicated on some of the surviving roll labels, and reported by Charles Davis Smith, to whom I have referred.

The Hupfeld rolls were probably recorded in Leipzig, which was the headquarters of the firm, but it also set up studios in Paris (at Stransky Frères) and Vienna at certain times. I note that Scriabin at one time lived in Paris, but I have not found any more detail.

Pianola (talk) 11:23, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Composer project review[edit]

I've reviewed this article as part of the Composers project review of its B-class articles. This article is a pretty good B-class article; well done. My main factual issue is that a claim of controversy made in the lead is never really substantiated in the body. My full review is on the comments page; questions and comments should be left here or on my talk page. Magic♪piano 13:45, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Performers and legacy[edit]

This section is turning into something of a catch-all. Obviously, Horowitz, Richter, and Sofronitsky are to be noted for their championing of Scriabin. But Cortot and Arrau? And a number of these pianists are not very notable. In any case, I am taking out the redlinks, but I feel this paragraph needs to be trimmed.THD3 (talk) 20:48, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm not wedded to the listing format either. However, while it would obviously be silly to list performers of, say, Mozart, I feel a slightly editorial case could be made for composers such as Scriabin (or, say, Alkan or Sorabji). Incidentally, the only absolutely complete survey of the solo piano works (albeit spread across a box [3] and a supplementary disc on a different label [4]) is by a performer, Maria Lettberg, who currently doesn't have a Wikipedia page. In the interests of NPOV I've added some key names and tried to structure the listings based on 1) recorded surveys; 2) complete sonata recordings; 3) other notable/prominent interpreters. Not ideal, I know... (talk) 17:07, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I've restored Eric Le Van (as a Scriabin specialist; see review here: - sorry, getting fatal error message when trying to link). (talk) 11:42, 3 February 2014 (UTC) [previously]

Sudbin link added[edit]

I've added a link to pianist Yevgeny Sudbin's liner notes, because they go quite beyond the usual "entrance of the graceful second subject" trivia endemic to the genre and become a thoughtful essay on Scriabin and his work. Sudbin also discusses his personal encounter with Scriabin's music and deals with Scriabin's different reception in Russia and the West. Janko (talk)

Opening Paragraph[edit]

" Scriabin developed an increasingly atonal musical system, accorded to mysticism, that presaged twelve-tone composition and other serial music. "

As a person trying to learn about Scriabin for the first time, I'm having a hard time making sense of this sentence. Is there way to delineate this idea that is easier to understand without knowing any previous context?

Renfield (talk) 12:43, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Material for the "music" section: a book about Scriabin's harmony[edit]

Hi, I've just found this book on google: [5]

I think it's a good source to include. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fauban (talkcontribs) 09:20, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Scruton quote[edit]

  • In 2009, Roger Scruton wrote that Scriabin "was one of the greatest of modern composers".[citation]

Regarding the above, what is "wrong" with it being in the lead? Hyacinth (talk) 21:59, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

The lead is meant to be a summary, not a reflection of a secondary source's view of a subject. See WP:LEAD. Toccata quarta (talk) 22:04, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Where in WP:LEAD does it mention secondary sources or views? How does this quote fail to summarize content found in the article, specifically the "Reception and influence" section? Hyacinth (talk) 06:39, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
It says "The lead serves as an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important aspects." Scruton is just one person—if you want a quote from him in the lead, you should also mention 100s of other quotes there. Here are two examples of how it should be done:
  • Garry Kimovich Kasparov (Russian: Га́рри Ки́мович Каспа́ров, Russian pronunciation: [ˈɡarʲɪ ˈkʲiməvʲɪtɕ kɐˈsparəf]; born Garik Kimovich Weinstein,[1] 13 April 1963) is a Russian (formerly Soviet) chess grandmaster, a former World Chess Champion, writer and political activist, considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time [emphasis added]. (From the article Garry Kasparov.)
  • Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque period, and as one of the greatest composers of all time [emphasis added].[9] (From the article Johann Sebastian Bach.)
Toccata quarta (talk) 09:49, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you understand "summary". 100s of quotes, which you apparently think exist, would not be a good summary. Hyacinth (talk) 18:47, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
100s of such quotes definitely exist (and if they do not, then we might call into question Scriabin's notability). A truckload of quotes is not a summary; however, a statement such as "Scriabin is widely considered one of the greatest piano composers of the 20th century" is fine (provided it's sourced). Toccata quarta (talk) 19:02, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Yet it appears you have opposed such a statement in the lead because it is sourced. Hyacinth (talk) 00:57, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
I have opposed it as it is not a summary. Do you even speak English? Toccata quarta (talk) 01:01, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
Obviously I don't speak English: I was only able to write all of the above through magic. See WP:NPA.
If it succinctly expresses something which exists in "100s of other quotes", it seems like a pretty good summary. Hyacinth (talk) 05:39, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you are supposed to be lecturing here about WP:NPA, considering your comparable "I'm not sure if you understand 'summary'" comment and your straw man "it appears you have opposed such a statement in the lead because it is sourced." Toccata quarta (talk) 08:58, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
If I could speak English I would write "see ad hominem". Hyacinth (talk) 18:06, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
Whatever the case, the Scruton quote does not belong in the lead. Toccata quarta (talk) 18:11, 1 December 2012 (UTC)


"Scriabin conducted flying experiments with his second wife, and considered this physical dematerialisation as important in the body as in his music." [6] Martinevans123 (talk) 08:48, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Alexander Scriabin/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 13:43, 26 March 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 07:13, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Died at Easter?[edit]

I've often read that he was born at Christmas and died at Easter. We make no mention of Easter, so I checked it out.

Easter Sunday in 1915 – in both the Orthodox and Western churches - was on 4 April Gregorian (= 22 March Julian). But Scriabin died on 27 April Greg (= 14 April Jul). That was 23 days after Easter.

So, where did this baseless Easter claim come from, and should we debunk it in the article? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 13:18, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

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Related to Molotov or not?[edit]

The article confidently states that Scriabin was not related to Molotov. D. Watson, in Molotov: A Biography, agrees that one of Molotov's brothers, a composer, changed his name to avoid confusion with the better-known Scriabin, but states that Molotov and Scriabin were second cousins. --Heron (talk) 22:07, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ E.E. Garcia (2004): Rachmaninoff and Scriabin: Creativity and Suffering in Talent and Genius. Psychoanalytic Review, 91: 423–42.