Chapter

Scriabin and Theurgy

Simon Morrison

in Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780520229433
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927261 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520229433.003.0004
Scriabin and Theurgy

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The 1905 seminal work by Valeriy Bryusov, the virtual founder of the Russian Symbolist Movement, “The Holy Sacrifice,” captures the spirit of the Symbolist quest to free art from utilitarian aims and to fuse art and life. The flow hence inferred that the Symbolists should ideally become subject of their own works and should in effect live them out. Conservative enough to fall short of such a manifest practice, Bryusov left this task to the hands of the “mystic” school, which sought to form a bridge between art and real life. Alexander Scriabin represented the mystical strain, which took this practice to an extreme, experimenting with narcotics, attending séances, etc. Scraibin's Mysterium, originally intended to be a Wagnerian opera, eventually embraced all elements reflective of this mystic school— the scripture, philosophies of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, the ecumenical religious thought of Vladimir Solovyov, etc.

Keywords: The Holy Sacrifice; utilitarian aims; narcotic; Mysterium; Nietzsche; ecumenical religion

Chapter.  22216 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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