Fine Art and Music – Part I

Fine Art and Music

is there a connection?

Part I

As I always have had an interest in music I want to look into the subject.

First of all I will tell you a little about a composer who have made a lot of music I like. He also had an especial relationship to colours as he saw colours when he heard music. His name is:

Alexander Scriabin(1872-1915) Russian composer and pianist

He was born and died in Moscow, and he is known for his unusual harmonies. I very often listen to his music especial from his early years, before he started with his experiments with atonality. It is fascinated to look at his background and see that he was under twenty years old when he made his famous preludes.

He was born into a noble Russia family. His mother was a pianist and his father had education from the University of Moscow studied languages, but got a military career afterwards. Alexander grew up by an aunt.

He was educated as a soldier from he was 11years old, but studied music and took piano lessons from early age.

16 years old he began at the Moscow Conservatory to be a composer. He went there for four years and when he graduated he had composed his preludes opus .nr.1,2,3, 5

and 7. He studied piano under Safonov and composition with Sergey Taneyev and Anton Arensky. All of them great teachers.

The young composers had a strict program every day from early morning to late evenings when they had to visit different concerts in Moscow. They always went to the concerts together with the teachers. The group was only seven and two of them became world known composers Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Alexandr Scriabin married pianist Vera Isakovich1897 and taught lessons at Moscow Conservatory from 1898 until 1903 and the year after he moved to Switzerland to devote himself to composing music. He stayed there until1909 when he went back to Russia. After1900 he was much influenced by mystical philosophy. In his symphony nr.1 he glorified art as a form of religion. His symphony nr.3 was composed the year after and performed in Paris 1905.He toured USA from 1906-1907.Back in Europe he frequented theosophical circles in Brussels.

After returning to Russia he was no longer thinking in term of music alone, it was a mixture of dancing, colours, music and poetry. He wanted to unite these artforms. Alexandr Scriabin and the German-Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg were both attracted to the idea that each musical sound had a certain colour, Synesthesia.

Scriabin is known for his symphonies and his beautiful piano music. He admired Frederic Chopin when he was young, but he early developed his own style. When he became older he was more mystical, egocentric and his harmony style changed. He died 1915.

Alexandr Scriabin

 Prelude no.8 Opus 11

This music is made in F sharp minor, and this piece has a poly-rhythmical(poly=several) structure, that means that the melody in the right hand do not go together with the rhythm in the left hand. In this piece poly means not several tunes, but several rhythms. This kind of rhythm can create a kind of “flow” which was very often used in the music from the romantic period (1800-1920). Other composers used this as well Grieg, Chopin, Schuman and Rachmaninoff. The rhythm of this piece is ¾

The most important in a music piece is always the theme, or the melody, as the composers uses to make variations over or repeat.




Nils A. Bjørnevik (my brother)    Alexandr Scrabin.24 Preludes Op.11