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Scriabin's early works are often said to be stylistically similar to Chopin.

I was listening to Chopin Scherzo no.3 and I noticed how the powerful octaves in both hands (starting at 19s) are similar to the Scriabin (6m18s). In general, the two pieces sound very similar due to the rapid octaves in the left hand throughout. Then I noticed how the melody, followed by a more delicate, higher pitched answer (1m17s) is similar to the Scriabin (6m30s).

I wonder if Scriabin was looking at this piece for ideas when he wrote op8 no9?

Op8.no.9:

Scherzo:

Last edited by Sonepica; 05/17/22 11:37 PM.
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There sure is similarity!
(Nice get -- I love stuff like this.)

Actually for the passage that you indicate, I hear more similarity to something in Tchaikovsky's Concerto #1 -- that's what I'd really wonder if Scriabin 'patterned' the passage after!

11:53 on here (also Yuja Wang):


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Pianists have figurations that they can play well and that they like. If they come from a background of playing classical music, they are likely to discover them in the pieces that they have played. It is only natural that when they compose, they would adapt some of them to the music they write.


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Scriabin's model was Chopin in his early years, before his 5th Sonata and atonalism, so it is not surprising that a lot of it would sound like, or a derivative of, late Chopin.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
I wonder if Scriabin was looking at this piece for ideas when he wrote op8 no9?
One can assume Scriabin knew Chopin's Scherzo and might have been influenced by it. But I think the idea that a great composer was "looking at another composer's piece for ideas" is silly.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Scriabin's early works are often said to be stylistically similar to Chopin.


Though I am not a specialist of Scriabine, I belive he was the biggest russian devotee of Chopin music. Scriabin specialist Faubion Bowers says : "Skryabusha fell in love with Chopin. He slept with his music under his pillow at night. He carried it in his book bag to Corps classes. In the first decade of Scriabin published opuses, there are nineteen mazurkas, nine impromptus, three waltzes, three
nocturnes, one polonaise and scores of preludes and études.

Scriabine also said “I was once a Chopinist, then a Wagnerist, now I am only a Scriabinist.”

My guess thugh is that his etudes are probably in close proximity to Chopin Etudes. But the Scherzo is using Chopin idiomatic language, so there wouldnt be any surprise if there is also some similarity, which does not mean Scriabine copied it per se.


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Originally Posted by Mark_C
There sure is similarity!
(Nice get -- I love stuff like this.)

Then we're kindred spirits. I too am intrigued the web of connections between works by different composers and/or the connections between composers themselves, be it in the sphere of their lives or schools of style, musical thought, etc. If I had time I would probably like to create some sort of map.

Which brings me to another point. It often strikes me how certain works forms pairs of companion pieces in my mind. Not necessarily because of shared figuration somewhere or one composer basing it off another composer, but rather just that they remind me of each other in the way that they perhaps have a similar mood, or tone. I don't know. The thought usually occurs spontaneously.

This brings me to wonder in the case of the two pieces below...: Why did the one became such a warhorse on concert programs while the other, equally meritorious and which could easily replace it and create the same effect upon an audience does not seem to attract any attention. I kind of know the answer, but it seems real folly to me that a lot of people can be so unimaginative and stuck in their way of thinking.

The works I'm referring to as an example is the Prelude No. 8 by Cesar Cui and the Etude no. 12 by Scriabin.

Cui - Prelude No. 8 in C sharp minor

Scriabin - Etude No. 12 in D sharp minor

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
I wonder if Scriabin was looking at this piece for ideas when he wrote op8 no9?
One can assume Scriabin knew Chopin's Scherzo and might have been influenced by it. But I think the idea that a great composer was "looking at another composer's piece for ideas" is silly.

I don't think it's silly at all. I suspect that composers do this a lot. Similarly, scientists read other papers to learn things to use in their own papers.

"All by myself" is based off Rach 2.

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Huh now that you point it out they do seem fairly stylistically similar. o:

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
I wonder if Scriabin was looking at this piece for ideas when he wrote op8 no9?
One can assume Scriabin knew Chopin's Scherzo and might have been influenced by it. But I think the idea that a great composer was "looking at another composer's piece for ideas" is silly.

I don't think it's silly at all. I suspect that composers do this a lot. Similarly, scientists read other papers to learn things to use in their own papers.

"All by myself" is based off Rach 2.
A good composer is trying to say something original. There's a big difference between being influenced by another composer and "looking at another composer's piece for ideas" which sounds closer to plagiarism. Scientists are looking for the truth so they usually have to build on and use what went before.

I know an excellent contemporary composer and once invited him to a piano recital. He said he didn't want to go because he was composing something at that time and he didn't want to be influenced by what he heard. I think most classical composers would find your description of how you think they work insulting.

Your example was of a pop song writer choosing a classical melody. This is occasionally done but is rare.

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I'm with the above.
I doubt Scriabin was looking anywhere for ideas!

But being influenced -- sure

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
I wonder if Scriabin was looking at this piece for ideas when he wrote op8 no9?
One can assume Scriabin knew Chopin's Scherzo and might have been influenced by it. But I think the idea that a great composer was "looking at another composer's piece for ideas" is silly.

I don't think it's silly at all. I suspect that composers do this a lot. Similarly, scientists read other papers to learn things to use in their own papers.

"All by myself" is based off Rach 2.
A good composer is trying to say something original. There's a big difference between being influenced by another composer and "looking at another composer's piece for ideas" which sounds closer to plagiarism. Scientists are looking for the truth so they usually have to build on and use what went before.

I know an excellent contemporary composer and once invited him to a piano recital. He said he didn't want to go because he was composing something at that time and he didn't want to be influenced by what he heard. I think most classical composers would find your description of how you think they work insulting.

Your example was of a pop song writer choosing a classical melody. This is occasionally done but is rare.

Pianoloverus appears on almost every thread to disagree with me. I'm pretty confident most serious students of classical composition would study the works of other composers very closely. This is not plagiarism unless they copy exactly what other composers have written. They don't compose with little knowledge of what any other composers have done before, except for possibly hearing a piece once on the radio and being slightly "influenced" by it unintentionally. The "question, answer" phrase concept I mentioned above is something that neither Chopin nor Scriabin invented. Both of them copied it from someone else. I don't know why I always bother arguing with people.

"I think most classical composers would find your description of how you think they work insulting."

I honestly don't care what you think "most" other people might think about what I think.

Last edited by Sonepica; 05/19/22 01:15 AM.
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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
One can assume Scriabin knew Chopin's Scherzo and might have been influenced by it. But I think the idea that a great composer was "looking at another composer's piece for ideas" is silly.

I don't think it's silly at all. I suspect that composers do this a lot. Similarly, scientists read other papers to learn things to use in their own papers.

"All by myself" is based off Rach 2.
A good composer is trying to say something original. There's a big difference between being influenced by another composer and "looking at another composer's piece for ideas" which sounds closer to plagiarism. Scientists are looking for the truth so they usually have to build on and use what went before.

I know an excellent contemporary composer and once invited him to a piano recital. He said he didn't want to go because he was composing something at that time and he didn't want to be influenced by what he heard. I think most classical composers would find your description of how you think they work insulting.

Your example was of a pop song writer choosing a classical melody. This is occasionally done but is rare.

Pianoloverus appears on almost every thread to disagree with me. I'm pretty confident most serious students of classical composition would study the works of other composers very closely. This is not plagiarism unless they copy exactly what other composers have written. They don't compose with little knowledge of what any other composers have done before, except for possibly hearing a piece once on the radio and being slightly "influenced" by it unintentionally. The "question, answer" phrase concept I mentioned above is something that neither Chopin nor Scriabin invented. Both of them copied it from someone else. I don't know why I always bother arguing with people.
Did you notice that Marc C agreed with me and disagreed with you?
The problem is with how you expressed things. In your most recent post you wrote "most serious students of classical composition would study the works of other composers very closely" which is certainly true. But in the post I disagreed with you wrote "I wonder if Scriabin was looking at this piece for ideas when he wrote op8 no9?" This implies Scriabin said to himself something like "I can't think of what to write so I'll look at Chopin's Scherzo and see what I can use." That's why Marc C disagreed with you and agreed with me.

I've explained myself as clearly as I can about this so will not write anything more about this on this thread.

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I hope you won't use me too much more to further an argument. grin

But yes, I was glad to say your point was well taken.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Did you notice that Marc C agreed with me and disagreed with you?
The problem is with how you expressed things. In your most recent post you wrote "most serious students of classical composition would study the works of other composers very closely" which is certainly true. But in the post I disagreed with you wrote "I wonder if Scriabin was looking at this piece for ideas when he wrote op8 no9?" This implies Scriabin said to himself something like "I can't think of what to write so I'll look at Chopin's Scherzo and see what I can use." That's why Marc C disagreed with you and agreed with me.

I've explained myself as clearly as I can about this so will not write anything more about this on this thread.

Yes I did notice that Marc C agreed with you. But how seriously can we take the opinion of someone who spells "Mark" with a "c" I ask you smile? He tried to draw a distinction between "being influenced" and "looking for ideas". But he didn't clarify whether "being influenced" could be done actively and intentionally instead of incidentally.

"This implies Scriabin said to himself something like "I can't think of what to write so I'll look at Chopin's Scherzo and see what I can use."

He may well have said, "I'm extremely fond of that piece. I'm going to look at the score to see what makes it tick and write a piece with a similar structure/style"

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Sonepica
Mark C actually spells Mark with a K. Should we draw any inference from your post?


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Sonepica
Mark C actually spells Mark with a K. Should we draw any inference from your post?

I swear it was Marc C a minute ago. Did he change it?

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No, but Marc is indeed what's on my birth certificate. ha

(It got changed for some reason before I was able to know anything about anything.)

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Oh it was PianoloverUS who spelt it Marc C.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Oh it was PianoloverUS who spelt it Marc C.


LOL 😆


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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It is well known that Scriabin was seriously influenced by Chopin. His early works are incredibly Chopinistic. For example he wrote his Op. 11 twenty-four preludes as a kind of shadow-self of Chopin's Op. 28. It's like he digested all of Chopin and passed it through a late-Russian Romantic prism. The connection between Op.8 no. 9 and the Chopin 3rd Scherzo is sort of there, but there are way way closer connections with other Scriabin/Chopin. BUT once you get to late Scriabin, and even middle, he has completely taken on his own voice. Listen to his sonatas from number 3 and on. Then you get stuff like Prometheus, Poem of Fire or the Poem of Ecstasy, where he really goes into left field with his obsession of the "mystic chord" harmony and abandons his very conventional formal structure, like standard period/sentence phrasing that you see in his early works.

Believe me, as someone who is obsessed with early Scriabin, he definitely had a captivating original voice from the start, but he did not become his undeniably unique self until he grew out of his "Chopin phase."

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Although I have not listened much to the poems/Prometheus/symphonies, I have to admit that when I did try they didn't make much sense to me. Does anyone disagree or have any recommendations for getting to like them?

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Although I have not listened much to the poems/Prometheus/symphonies, I have to admit that when I did try they didn't make much sense to me. Does anyone disagree or have any recommendations for getting to like them?

I recommend listening to the Agerich recording of Prometheus. It's kind of a piano concerto, there's a huge emphasis on the piano. Scriabin initially wrote the work for a "light organ" which was only ever really prototypical. The idea is that the light organ plays notes that present colors and a whole light display, as part of the performance. I think the work was premiered at Carnegie Hall right not long before his death, and after that, very few major performances have attempted to honor the magnitude of his desired light display. The video I'm thinking of with Argerich is pretty old at this point, but it's Martha after all (and I think Abbado conducting?) so it's definitely worth watching.

Late Scriabin is dense and can be overwhelming. But remember, he's a very well-trained and structured composer, he just got very into chromaticism and interesting harmonies. If you listen to his later music enough times, you'll discover it's actually very well put together, just like his earlier music.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Although I have not listened much to the poems/Prometheus/symphonies, I have to admit that when I did try they didn't make much sense to me. Does anyone disagree or have any recommendations for getting to like them?


The opus 32 poems are very interesting. They are still in a rather comprehensible style. I am not a fan of his later compositions like the opus 72, but there are people here who would certainly be more convincing than I am.


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