Scriabin's "Fourth Piano Sonata": A turning point in his compositional style.
Committee ChairZumbro, Nicholas
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis paper demonstrates how and why Alexander Scriabin's Fourth Piano Sonata marks a critical turning point in his compositional style. It also touches lightly upon the philosophical underpinnings of his musical evolution. Three piano sonatas are examined in turn: the Third Sonata--a work representing Scriabin's early style; the Fourth Sonata--a significant transitional piece; and the Seventh Sonata--a sophisticated work from his later period. The innovative harmonic language and musical form of the Fourth Sonata is traced back to its roots in the Third Piano Sonata, after which its evolution reflected in the Seventh Piano Sonata is elucidated. Scriabin's innovations in the Fourth Sonata include his use of the chord-pair, his exploration of the tritone, his manipulations of dominant seventh chords and the condensation of the multi-movement sonata into the one-movement sonata. The Fourth Piano Sonata marks a clearly turning point in Scriabin's compositions.