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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>Comparative Composers: Rachmaninoff vs. Scriabin Summary

Comparative Composers: Rachmaninoff vs. Scriabin

Article Summary   by:Dilettante435     Original Author: myself
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The appeal of listening to Rachmaninoff transpires from the generosity of his music. It is abundant and rich, and, in piano works particularly, the chords often leap in thick, tight bundles, lending the listener an idyllic sense of being showered by a volley of aromatic rose bouquets. Scriabin can vie for this fragrant capacity (accidentally, he described his very style of playing the piano as "perfumed"), compensating with exquisite subtlety where lacking in lusciousness, but he goes beyond, leaving the senses behind, aiming at where they all interflow: the mind and the abstract perception. Steadily and deliberately, from sonata to sonata (the last few constituting the pinnacle of his solo piano output), his music evolves into something more and more violent, and even explosive; it unfolds into a series of piercing and dazzling sonorous micro-bursts - a sign of sophistication and control - rendering metaphoric resemblance to an intensely focused laser beam pulsations - effects Rachmaninoff failed to achieve, albeit he probably did not intend to. It is aso probable that the corrosion gnawing at the roots of Rachmaninoff's bonanza is its susceptibility to depletion, which would explain the occasional thinning in some of the opuses; Scriabin, on the other hand, practices a mystifying economy, mining from unexpected resources, - which makes one believe in their fathomlessness.
When one considers both composers' national background, an interesting paradox makes itself evident: Scriabin remains curiously Russian without employing known folk melodies, whereas Rachmaninoff, a decidedly national composer, Tchaikovsky's pet, somehow squanders the plentiful melodic supplies of mother Russia , leaving the folk stamp as rather pale. Rachmaninoff is easier to listen to. Despite what was said, enjoyment is almost certainly guaranteed; Scriabin, on the other hand, can leave you puzzling, and even uneasy. In other words, there is no guarantee - but the risks should not be intimidating, as Scriabin himself already took them. *You are invited to read here on Mozart and Beethoven: http://www.shvoong.com/humanities/410643-comparative-composers-mozart-vs-beethoven/
Published: October 13, 2006   
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