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Title: Towards a performance of Scriabin's Sonata No. 6, Op. 62 : a practice-led exploration
Author: Kreiling, J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 042X
Awarding Body: Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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Pianist and composer Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) is regarded as one of the most unique and important innovators of the early modernist Russian school. His search for new and more complex sonorities – as well as his evolving belief in the role that his music would play in the spiritual future of society – led to experimentation with octatonic, whole-tone and bi-tonal harmonic and melodic patterns, most clearly demonstrated in the formation of the mystic chord. The extra-musical significance of these sonic explorations are related by Scriabin in the unusual descriptions found in the scores of his late piano music, which suggest that the musical content is closely connected to Scriabin’s own very individual philosophical belief system. There has already been research in this area, connecting the music of the late piano sonatas with Mystic Russian Symbolism, as well as Scriabin’s orchestral Prometheus Op. 60 with the occultism and mysticism of Theosophy. My contribution in this regard lies in a detailed, practice-led research project based on the interpretation of the score instructions found in the Sixth Piano Sonata, Op. 62, in which I connect aspects of the music to a detailed study of the philosophical content of Scriabin’s unfinished libretto to the Prefatory Act and the Theosophy-inspired concept of the resulting Mysterium. In doing so I suggest how these score descriptions may be interpreted and put into practice, based on such research findings. This complex process of performative interpretation employs multiple methodologies including score analysis, factual research relating to biographical and historical context, critical recording analysis and ongoing self reflection. Crucially, practice is used throughout to judge the validity and relevance of analytical and research findings, as well as a means of research in itself, in which new ideas have been discovered through the act of live performance. The value of first-person research is presented in a wider musicological and performance context, through which it is argued that such practice-led research has the potential to lead to a more inclusive and open research environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Mus.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: M Music