The Memorial Museum of the great composer and pianist Alexander Scriabin (1871 – 1915) is situated in the centre of Moscow a quiet side street near the Stary ArbatRussian: Stary Arbat or Старый Арбат. Scriabin spent the last three years of his life in this apartment in the old mansion. This is a typical urban apartment of the early 20th century in the Art Nouveau style. Once you enter, it is as if you are transported back to the early 20th century.
There are several rooms in the flat, including an entrance hall, a study, a drawing room, a dining room, where Scriabin liked to relax and entertain his friends, and a bedroom, where he died in 1915. Scriabin’s death, like his work itself, is a rather mysterious story. He did not own the flat in which he lived, instead regularly prolonging the rental agreement on a yearly basis. Yet, in 1914, Scriabin suggested prolonging it only until May of 1915, instead of December as it had been since he had been occupying the apartment. The landlord was baffled, but Scriabin explained that he knew that it was the right thing to do. Indeed on 14 (27) April, 1915 Scriabin died. The manner of his death was a little ridiculous – he popped a boil and died of blood poisoning at the peak of his creative activity.
Scriabin’s apartment is a typical example of a city apartment of the beginning of the 20th century, built in the Art Nouveau style. In this apartment you can see not only authentic furniture and decorative objects, but also the composer’s private library, which comprises hundreds of books, photos and rare documents.
The pride of the museum is the world’s first machine to play the “Poem of FireRussian: Prometey or Прометей” designed by Scriabin himself and made by Professor Alexander Mozer. Millions of people all over the world were familiar with Scriabin’s works. He became the founder of a new art movement – colour music. “The Ebony ConcertoRussian: Chyornyi kontsert or Черный концерт” by I. Stravinsky, “PoetoriaRussian: Поэтория” by R. Shchedrin, “The Yellow SoundRussian: Zhyoltyi zvuk or Желтый звук” by A. Shnitke and many pop concerts and discos that have followed stem from Scriabin’s works. In 1910, he completed one of his most well-known works – the symphonic poem “Poem of Fire”, where he first introduced the “voice” of fire.
The ‘Scriabin House’ Centre for Cultural InnovationsRussian: tsentr kulturnyh innovatsiy «Dom Skryabina» or центр культурных инноваций «Дом Скрябина» was opened on the new premises of the museum in 2013. Its concert hall is equipped with cutting-edge equipment which helps support and develop the tradition of coloured light performances. A unique multimedia complex comprises a concert hall, exhibition space, as well as an interactive class. The use of 3D projections and complex light equipment provides an opportunity to make Scriabin’s most outrageous dreams come true, to transform the space within seconds and literally plunge the audience into the world of a music piece. Sometimes, even the famous Bechshtein grand piano, the main relic of the museum, gifted to Scriabin by company representatives in 1912, seems to come to life under the fingers of some of the most world-renowned musicians.
SCRIABIN’S MYSTERY PLAY
Scriabin was faithful to all the best musical traditions, but also experimented in materialising the anticipations of the calamities of the 20th century. Scriabin truly gave rise to a new epoch in music and became widely renowned both in Russia and abroad. Scriabin’s legacy is exceptionally diverse. One of Scriabin’s last unfulfilled ideas was “MysteriesRussian: Misteriya or Мистерия” which was intended to be constructed as a symphony of sound, colours, smells, movements, and sounding architecture. Scriabin did not always consider the aims of what he was producing, rather saw his work as a means of accomplishing a far greater, universal mission. Through “Mysteries”, he intended to terminate the present life cycle of the world, combine the World Spirit with inert Matter, and thus clear the space for the creation of the next world.
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