vers la flamme

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Scriabin - Vers la flamme

Toward the Flame. This is the other side of Scriabin, the one whose own voice exists on another dimension. This work was initially going to be Scriabin’s eleventh piano sonata, but due to time constraints with the publisher, he kept it short and published it as a short concentrated “poem”. Written in the last year of his life, the piece is a gradual build up, starting off as a choral that becomes more agitated and energized before its eventual and inevitable ecstatic release. No surprise to me; much of Scriabin’s music tends to be psychologically tied up with the erotic. But what is the flame? Apparently, in Scriabin’s own mythos, it is the fiery ocean which engulfs the universe before the universe is reborn. Like a phoenix. How insane, revolutionary! A great flame of cleansing light! I’m surprised Scriabin never ended up being a cult leader with his wild and mystic ideas. But at the same time, I am not surprised. In the age of Modernity, secularism was the leading ideology, and secularism isn’t a lack of belief, but rather a surplus of beliefs, to which all of the fringe ideas are welcome. That’s an idea from Liberal Arts college which I do not remember whom to attribute to, but even so, it makes sense. It matches up. And the music has the same ecstasy that I crave in late Scriabin, where tonality is a mystery and all we have to hold onto is darkened patterns. The Scriabin I love.

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Vers la flamme, Op. 72 (Toward the flame) is one of Alexander Scriabin’s last few pieces for piano, written in 1914. According to renowned pianist Vladimir Horowitz, the piece was inspired by Scriabin’s eccentric conviction that a constant accumulation of heat would ultimately cause the destruction of the world. The piece’s title reflects the Earth’s fiery destruction, as well as the constant emotional buildup and crescendo throughout the piece leading, ultimately, “toward the flame.”

Don’t Turn Out The Lights: an instrumental horror playlist

1. The Splinter // Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross 2. Helen’s Theme // Philip Glass 3. Not Safe // Alias Conrad Coldwood 4. Greed // Ali Helnwein 5. Wrak // Kreng 6. First, Love // She Wants Revenge 7. Tsumi // Kenji Kawai 8. Photos in Darkness // Two Steps From Hell 9. Gluttony // Ali Helnwein 10. Wistful Memory // Lee Byung Woo 11. Island of the Witch // Shinichi Sakurai 12. Blood Theme // Daniel Licht 13. Chaos // Lee Byung Woo 14. Vers La Flamme, Op.72 // Vladimir Horowitz 15. A Whistling Tune From A Lonely Man // Hudson Thames 16. Stay In Your Coma // Alias Conrad Coldwood 17. 15 Ghosts II // Nine Inch Nails

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Vladimir Horowitz plays Scriabin’s “Vers La Flamme”

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Alexander Scriabin - Vers La Flamme, interpreted by Vladimir Horowitz