Run-through of Scriabin’s “Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor”


"I am less familiar with the piano concerto. When you have time [Catherine], could you give us a little run-through? Movements, concepts? I mean, not too much, obviously, just a little more background info, if you don't mind"

one of the questions asked at fsu when the free dance music selection was released



Run-through by Catherine, a music student from Latvia and fsu-er

As I listened, I wrote out my thoughts on this piece of music, so here they are: it’s all movement.

scriabin’s “piano concerto in f-sharp minor"

1st Movement

Allegro (meaning “fast”)
Timing: from the start until 08:26

Scriabin is “playing” with you. It sounds like a game. There are light and soft parts and, of course, darkness. Nothing has “stability”. By that, I mean ... if there is a part that feels light, you can't be sure it actually IS light because the movement is full of surprises, and lightness can become darkness in one second. 05:20 is pretty much the culmination part. It longs just a few seconds, but I LOVE those seconds.

2nd Movement

Andante (meaning “slow”)
Timing: starts around 08:27

It's about variations. Basically, there's one theme. Throughout the movement, Scriabin uses the same theme several times but he simply changes aspects of it (major becomes minor, fast becomes slow, and so on). You can't recognize the theme at all.

Theme (starts 08:27): orchestra playing.
Variation No 1 (starts 10:01): piano joins and improvises with the theme.
Variation No 2 (starts 11:37): everything becomes faster.
Variation No 3 (starts 12:18): major becomes minor and everything gets much slower.
Variation No 4 (starts 14:10): very light theme; everything is happy again and you can hear the clarinet above all instruments. In the end, the theme returns.

I personally love the theme and I think variations no 1 and no 4 would suit Tessa and Scott perfectly. Scriabin has lots of wonderful “ending music themes” in the 1st movement, so they could also end with some of these too.

3rd Movement

Allegro Moderato (meaning “moderate fast” aka not very fast)
Timing: starts around 17:11

He's playing with us again. It feels like the 1st movement again. Nothing is “stable”. There's a part, which happens around 19:00, that I love. It’s slow, which is definitely good for dancing, but it then gets faster. It ends around 20:10, when “non-stable” parts return. I love the moment around 25:36, where the music is light, but sad—a bit angsty. Then the “not-stable” part starts again. After, we’ll hear many forte and piano parts.


notes

to read Catherine's commentary of both pieces, the "Concerto" and Glazunov's "The Seasons", please click here