Vers la flamme

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Vers la flamme (Toward the flame), Op. 72, is one of Alexander Scriabin's last pieces for piano, written in 1914.

The melody is very simple, consisting mainly of descending half steps, but the unusual harmonies and difficult tremolos create an intense, fiery luminance. This piece was intended to be Scriabin's eleventh sonata; however, he had to publish it early because of financial concerns. Hence, the piece is labelled a poem, rather than a sonata.

According to pianist Vladimir Horowitz, the piece was inspired by Scriabin's eccentric conviction that a constant accumulation of heat would ultimately cause the destruction of the world.[1] The piece's title reflects the earth's fiery destruction, and the constant emotional buildup and crescendo throughout the piece lead, ultimately, "toward the flame".


  1. ^ Horowitz in television footage included in "Horowitz: A Reminiscence", TV broadcast 1993. Released as Kultur Films DVD 2007.

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