By An; Eaglefield Hull
Excerpt from a good Russian Tone-Poet, Scriabin
Have you ever thought of what a really awesome and deeply mystical factor a musical sound is that if you spatter a few gentle sand on a pianoforte lid or, greater nonetheless, on a in particular prepared vibration plate, and strike an entire chord, the sand will start to dance approximately and at last quiet down right into a appealing geometrical trend strike one other chord and the gyrating sand will eventually dispose itself right into a set of 4 roses or whatever both attention-grabbing. Now thump the piano lid along with your fist and the sand will heap itself up anyways. That represents the adaptation among musical sound and noise.
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Additional info for Scriabin: The great Russian tone poet
Even if he sometimes dwelled on the joys of revenge, that was not his primary moving force. It is only fair to add that, when aroused in the good cause, he could be pretty severe. In that collection of stories, essays, and reviews known as Les Soirées de l’orchestre, he issued a wholesale condemnation of the Paris Opéra: The quality of a performance naturally depends not only on the choice of performers, but on the spirit that pervades them. Now, this spirit might be just right if they had not long ago found out something which has discouraged them, made them indifferent and, in the end, bored and disgusted.
No, certainly not, for fugue is a highly useful exercise that familiarizes students with a number of harmonic complications, and teaches them how to make the most of a melodic idea. It is also the case, I might add, that the fugal style, in modified form, can at times be successfully employed in a slow movement. But the use that has been made of it up to now, in Masses, represents in my view an inconceivable aberration of composers’ understanding. 30 Berlioz always complained about the vocal fugues required as a preliminary exercise in the annual competition for the Prix de Rome (only his efforts of 1826 and 1829 have been preserved),31 for he found them inappropriate measures of the capacities of future laureates, who rather needed the ability to express drama in music.
That’s a joke! 12 Berlioz’s rare references to Monteverdi concern not his musical work but rather his celebrated quarrel with the Bolognese Canon Artusi over the proper treatment of dissonance. Like his contemporaries, Berlioz had a kind of “legendary” idea of the history of harmony in which Monteverdi occupied a symbolic place. 14 Rolland’s book centers upon the figure of Pergolesi, whose Stabat mater, performed at the concerts at the Conservatoire in 1842, was ridiculed by Berlioz: he could not consider as a masterpiece a work that consisted of what he calls an insipid sequence of arias and duets—a “nightmare,” or cauchemar, which word he brings out by means of a kind of acrostic with those nine letters set in bold type in the elegant typography of the Revue et Gazette musicale of 3 April 1842.