2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Motive and Structure in Scriabin's Piano Sonata, op. 53
Tyler Kielb♦
Dr. Warren Gooch, Faculty Mentor

Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) wrote a total of ten sonatas for the piano. The stylistic evolution from the first to the last sonata is striking: the first sonata is scored in four movements and the key of F Minor, while the tenth and final sonata is written in a single movement, has no key signature, and makes no use of functional harmony. The Fifth Sonata (1905) in particular marks a significant turning point in the composer's structural approach to sonata form. Beginning with this work, Scriabin abandons the multi-movement classical model in favor of a more idiosyncratic one-movement structure and pushes harmony outside the realm of conventional tonality. Despite these radical departures from certain classical conventions, an investigation of the treatment of motives in Scriabin's Piano Sonata, op. 53, reveals the use of continuous thematic transformation as a structural principle, which upon closer analysis establishes this seemingly unorthodox work squarely in the lineage of classical sonata form.

Keywords: Piano, Sonata, Scriabin, Structural Analysis, Twentieth Century


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 103-1
Location: OP 2117
Time: 8:00

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