Etude Op. 8 No. 12 (Scriabin)
Étude Op. 8 No. 12 is a technical étude
An étude , is an instrumental musical composition, most commonly of considerable difficulty, usually designed to provide practice material for perfecting a particular technical skill. The tradition of writing études emerged in the early 19th century with the rapidly growing popularity of the piano...
for piano in D-sharp minor composed by Alexander Scriabin
Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin was a Russian composer and pianist who initially developed a lyrical and idiosyncratic tonal language inspired by the music of Frédéric Chopin. Quite independent of the innovations of Arnold Schoenberg, Scriabin developed an increasingly atonal musical system,...
in 1894. It features many technical challenges including treacherous stretches with intervals up to an eleventh
In music or music theory an eleventh is the note eleven scale degrees from the root of a chord and also the interval between the root and the eleventh....
, numerous jumps in the left hand, repetitive chord strikes, and abundant octaves. It is a particular favorite among pianists and audiences alike. This piece was a favorite encore
An encore is an additional performance added to the end of a concert, from the French "encore", which means "again", "some more"; multiple encores are not uncommon. Encores originated spontaneously, when audiences would continue to applaud and demand additional performance from the artist after the...
of Vladimir Horowitz
Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz was a Russian-American classical virtuoso pianist and minor composer. His technique and use of tone color and the excitement of his playing were legendary. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century.-Life and early...
TechniqueThe dramatic motive and moving recitative of the solo in the upper voices on the chordal background is characteristic of Scriabin's early creations. The piece's tempo varies between 100 and 112 bpm. The right hand is always playing octaves except for the piece's ending. Similarly, the left hand is continually jumping around until the final chord is struck.
As with other etudes penned by Scriabin, the jumps written for the left hand can be somewhat facilitated by executing higher notes in the bass clef (e.g., the high A in the second beat of measure
In musical notation, a bar is a segment of time defined by a given number of beats of a given duration. Typically, a piece consists of several bars of the same length, and in modern musical notation the number of beats in each bar is specified at the beginning of the score by the top number of a...
two) with free fingers in the right hand.