Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Scriabin's Mysterium

Direct from Wikipedia:

Mysterium is an unfinished musical work by composer Alexander Scriabin. He started working on the composition in 1903, but it was incomplete at the time of his death in 1915.
Scriabin planned that the work would be synesthetic, exploiting the senses of smell and touch as well as hearing. He wrote that
"There will not be a single spectator. All will be participants. The work requires special people, special artists and a completely new culture. The cast of performers includes an orchestra, a large mixed choir, an instrument with visual effects, dancers, a procession, incense, and rhythmic textural articulation. The cathedral in which it will take place will not be of one single type of stone but will continually change with the atmosphere and motion of the Mysterium. This will be done with the aid of mists and lights, which will modify the architectural contours."
Scriabin intended that the performance of this work, to be given in the foothills of the Himalayas in India, would last seven days and would be followed by the end of the world, with the human race replaced by "nobler beings".
At the time of his death, Scriabin left 72 pages of sketches for a prelude to the Mysterium entitled Prefatory Action. These sketches have been completed by Alexander Nemtin to form a three-hour-long work, a task that took him 28 years, and recorded.
Here at Secret Lexicon we have not yet heard any of what Alexander Nemtin managed to get recorded. It is exceedingly hard to physically locate on the cheap. Also, one wonders about the authenticity of sitting alone in a room and listening to a CD of the PREPARATION FOR THE FINAL MYSTERY after knowing what Scriabin's lofty original intentions were for this musick.