Scriabin

Another credit to our town- the St. Louis Symphony. Dennis and I went to the symphony on Saturday night, compliments of a friend who could not use her tickets and has marvelous seats, front row, loge, where we could see the conductor’s every move, his beautifully fluid hand gestures, his hands looked almost boneless, and each and every person and instrument as he/she/it joined in the score; I’ve never fully appreciated the beauty of the symphony before. And this despite the fact that the music was not my favorite- Russian composers, with all the drama; the conductor was a Russian as well, guest appearance, and very young to be so accomplished, not yet 40, conducting Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. Scriabin I’d not heard of before, and the program notes were wonderful. An excerpt: “He is intriguing also for the quasi-religious, quasi-mystical ideas that came to dominate his thinking… Scriabin also began writing his music to freely composed poems that gave voice to his mystical philosophy. Eventually, he conceived a gigantic composition-cum-ritual performance called Mysterium.  With a huge ensemble of singers and instrumentalists, and lasting 12 days, this piece was to conclude with audience and performers joined in a rite leading them to Nirvana. Scriabin had finished only cursory sketches for Mysterium by the time he died, in 1915. He was, by any measure, quite mad.”

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