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Daniel A. Freedman, personal web site

The Bandmaster of the World

Our film is about him. Russian by origin. Cosmopolitan by conviction. Innovator of genius. The Bandmaster of the World - Alexander Scriabin. One of the most mysterious personalities in 20th century art history. A century ago. As well as now. A century later. This one hundred year separates us only in time - the physical movement of an hour hand.

But it brings us together to the utmost in spirit. Spirit of innovation, far from losing its urgency - on the contrary, still gaining it at the threshold of the third millennium. Who is he? He who as a child, put Chopin's scores under his pillow before going to bed. A class-mate and friend of Sergei Rachmaninov. A supervisor of young Boris Pasternak. The favourite of Moscow avant-garde painters and poets-symbolists. The minion of the greatest patron of art, Belyayev. An authority with Meyerhold. The greatest figure in Rimsky-Korsakov's eyes.

Scriabin in front of the vanquished but still restive audience. Scriabin at the grand piano. He was short, fragile, that resounding elf... There was a kind of light horror about him... And when he started to play, it was as if he were emitting light, surrounded by an atmosphere of magic... He did not seem to be a human being at all, not even a genius he was, but a woodland spirit... Can anyone tell music, and will they know how the man played who played incomparably? He who heard him play knows...

This, Scriabin's music, was heard, known and waited for... The audience was conquered from Moscow through Berlin, Paris, London to the very City of New York. It was a time when his colleagues, people of the same generation, were consumed with envy. BUICKLY: Like it or not, but give me half the world. We have to divide it between us! SCRIABIN: You may take the whole world, if it follows you... Meanwhile, his older colleagues, world-known figures, flattered him.

GLAZUNOV: With your visit you have lit up your subjects like a monarch! Even distinguished Boris Pasternak could not avoid his influence. BORIS PASTERNAK: Art is full of well-known popular truths. Though everybody is free to use them, well-known rules wait long and still are not used. It must be that rare, smiling, once-in-a-century fortune of a well-known truth when it is put in use at last. Scriabin was such a fortune.

It was he who, directly or indirectly, influenced to a great extent the development of 20th century music art, all its composers. It was he who presented his contemporaries as well as us, and the whole art of the current century, with a special taste of ... art, According to Scriabin's words, with a new sensation... All my life I've dreamed of new artistic forms, -

The words of a poet, ALEXANDER BELIY, could not be more suitable to express Scriabin's thoughts. The previous artists did not know what the brightness of sunshine was. They did not know what mists were - we read in KAZIMIR MALEVICH'S book. But that was before him, Alexander Scriabin. He who had the courage and talent to make himself known, having created the first world light and musical work - the "Poem of Fire". For an artist who thinks creatively, knows that sounds illuminate light and colours sing.

He was in love with life, the creative process, remaining permanently in a state of a cheerful elation. Life should be a holiday, and One should take the world as he would take a woman. These are his own words, his style, his life principle. But he wished to move further. To be only a composer seems so boring to me. Why? Longing for something extraordinary is an age-old Russian phenomenon.

That is why he considered himself Doomed for... a deed of Mystery-Play, this liturgical act, When the moment of collective ecstasy comes... That is why, the representatives of creative professions, having crossed the threshold of the third millennium, should "doom" themselves and create a new art, a special expressive language to shake the world now and here. At first with the help of Sound. There must be such a dizziness in a produced sound that when it changes A kind of psychological shift, sensation must have been the cause of its change...

Then with the help of Music. Music casts a spell over time, it can even stop it. Then with Rhythm. Rhythm is an incantation of time, through rhythm a creative spirit brings about time and controls it! Then again with Sound. The sound is hardly heard. It is only felt. In order to return to Music afterwards. This apocalyptic music- will it wake us to face the final perception of the world phenomena?

Finally, to see a Performance. A genuine symphony for the eyes... Open Scriabin’s Mystery-Play, an act of a magic quality, the only kind of the Universal art in cultural history on the scale of the whole of mankind. ... Extraordinarily great forms. Imposing scenes. Thousands of participants. Nature. The Universe. Filling... with Ecstasy... I need the Sun here. Such light, as if several suns had begun to shine. And a dance among fires and then... Breaking out from the earth, a last, all-embracing conflagration. And to touch him - Oh, the sacred mystery of disappearance, the mystery of the conception of a new Universe! To touch him, the Great Magician... Touch his dream,