Scriabin Sonata 4 Astronomy Film

A contribution to the Scriabin Club kindly provided by Peter Barthel.

Alexander Scriabin composed his magnificent fourth piano sonata in 1903, and wrote a poem to go with the composition. The poem talks about an ecstatic flight towards a distant blue star.

In this film, made in the library of the Arcetri Observatory in Firenze (Florence), the sonata is performed by Marco Rapetti. The pianist plays the 1899 Blüthner grand piano which the famous theoretical physicist Albert Einstein gave to his sister in 1931. The music is accompanied by images and video of stars and galaxies, selected by astronomer Peter Barthel.

Alexander Scriabin composed his magnificent Fourth Piano Sonata in 1903, and wrote a poem to go with the composition. The poem talks about an ecstatic flight towards a distant blue star. The sonata is performed here by Marco Rapetti, on the 1899 Bluethner grand piano which Albert Einstein gave to his sister in 1931. The music is accompanied by images of stars and galaxies selected by astronomer Peter Barthel.

Direct Link to YouTube

The text of the poem, in a translation by the Henle Verlag, is as follows:

In the light, gentle mists, lost in the distance,
The bright light of a star twinkles softly. How beautiful it is!
It rocks me to sleep, caresses me,
The secret of its wonderful blue rays entices me
Oh, to be near to you, distant star!
To drown in your trembling rays, you magnificent star!
O deep, mad yearning! O sweet delight of desire!
I wish only to desire eternally, yearning itself is my only wish.
But no! My elated flight takes me ever higher
Mad dance! Joyful rapture!
May my flight lead me to you, wonderful star! -
To you, whom I freely created,
So that my free flight may have a goal!
But in my capricious game I forget you.
A whirlwind carries me away from you. -
In the fiery joy of my desire the distant goal disappears
But you will shine eternally on me, for my yearning will be eternal!
And in the glowing sun, in the burning fire
You ignite - o tender, shimmering star!
My deep, mad yearning brought me close to you!
In your glittering waves I drown
And I drink you, o sea of light!
Light, I devour you!

This project was made possible by INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, and realized with the support of the Bogliasco Foundation and Proaxxes. Filming was produced by ALTO (Firenze), with DoP/camera Alex Torres, 1st AC/Gaffer Giovanni Polisano, 2nd AC/BestBoy Manuele Zanussi, Set PA Sara Nadal Rosell, and sound mixer Marco Fabiani. Post-production was carried out by Bas Tempelman and Rob Neefjes at MY Facilities in Groningen, The Netherlands.

Credits

Image credits - Milky Way: P.Horálek/ESO/CTAO, B.Tafreshi/ESO, S.Guisard/ESO. Cone Nebula NGC2264, Helix Nebula NGC7293, Cometary Globule CG4, and Trifid Nebula M20: ESO. Fornax Cluster: ESO/Aniello Grado and Luca Limatola. Arp271: ESO/Juan Carlos Muñoz. NGC613: ESO/Peter Barthel and Mark Neeser.

www.marcorapetti.com www.peterbarthel.nl