In this paper the evolution of Scriabin’s musical language will be discussed with particular attention to the development of the mystic chord. Late Scriabin is recognized as being post-tonal. Yet, there is no clear point when Scriabin abandoned tonality and started embracing post-tonal music. As a matter of fact the mystic chord that characterizes the late music has roots in his earlier compositions. Starting with a preference for the Neapolitan chord, Scriabin transitions to an emphasis on the augmented sixth chord, to finally merge this with the dominant seventh chord in a specific voicing. This gradual transition from early tonal music under the influence of Chopin, until his remarkable personal style at the end will be presented. The emphasis is therefore on the gradual transition from tonality to post-tonality. The aim is: first to bridge the traditional rupture between tonality and post-tonality; and second to look at Scriabin’s post-tonal music in a different perspective. While the traditional tonality has been transformed, there are some remains of the old language that still shape the post-tonal compositions. This may bring a new perspective on how to approach the late music of Scriabin.
5.F.2Séance - Leaving – and Regaining – the Shores of Tonality
Bert Van Herck is faculty at New England Conservatory. He holds a PhD from Harvard University where he studied with Magnus Lindberg, Julian Anderson, Chaya Czernowin, Brian Ferneyhough, and Helmut Lachenmann. With Hans Tutschku, he studied electroacoustic music. In the fall of 2006 he was an exchange scholar at Columbia University, working with Tristan Murail. Besides his compositional activities, his interest in music theory has lead to presentations in international conferences on the music by Oliver Knussen, spectral music, and the music of Magnus Lindberg.
New England Conservatory United States of Americabert.firstname.lastname@example.org