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Alexander Scriabin

Alexander Scriabin (sometimes transliterated as Skryabin) (January 6, 1872 - April 27, 1915) was a Russian composer and pianist.

Scriabin was born in Moscow. He studied the piano from an early age, taking lessons with Nikolay Zverev[?] who was teaching Sergei Rachmaninov at the same time. He became a noted pianist. Scriabin also became interested in theosophy.

Many of Scriabin's works are written for the piano, the earliest pieces resemble Frederic Chopin and include music in many forms that Chopin himself employed, such as the etude, the prelude and the mazurka. Scriabin's ten piano sonatas, however, are more original, employing very unusual harmonies and textures. The last five of these are written with no key signature and many passages in them can be said to be atonal.

Scriabin wrote only a small number of orchestral works, including a piano concerto (1896), The Poem of Ecstasy (1908) and Prometheus: The Poem of Fire (1910), which includes a part for a "clavier à lumières" - an implement played like a piano, but which flooded the concert hall with coloured light rather than sound. Few performances of the piece, including the premiere, have includes this light element, although a performance in New York City in 1915 projected colours onto a screen.

Scriabin died in Moscow from septicemia.

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