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1872 - 1915

Vers la flamme, opus 72

arranged for symphony orchestra by Mark Starr
from Scriabin's original for piano 2-hands (1914)

link to biography of Scriabin

A demo recording of this arrangement -- realized with digital musical sounds -- will begin to play automatically upon opening this page.  If you do not wish listen to it, please click on the STOP button (or the PAUSE button) on the media player, below. You may wish to adjust the volume on your computer to a more comfortable level.


The poem Vers la flamme is one of Scriabin's quintessential masterpieces. Packed into its six minutes' duration are all of the features that distinguished his late works as among the most imaginative and musically advanced of the early 20th Century. Written for piano solo a year before the composer's death, the work appears (from internal evidence) to have been conceived for orchestra -- and there is much internal evidence in the published piano score that supports this view.

Vers la flamme is one organic crescendo that commences in the lowest and darkest sonic regions. It slowly progresses to cover the entire spectrum of tone color, terminating in an incandescent flash of white heat. Thematically, the entire work is developped from two notes: a descending minor second.

Scriabin believed it was the ultimate destiny of the universe to be consumed in a cosmic incendiary apocalypse. This piece is the ecstatic musical expression of that philosophical idea.


Cosmic explosion

Mark Starr has arranged Scriabin's poem for large symphony orchestra.  He has modeled his orchestration on Scriabin's orchestral work Poem of Ecstasy -- a work to which Vers la flamme is in many ways closely related.


The orchestral score for this arrangement is available for perusal, audition, purchase, downloading and printing on the website http://www.sibeliusmusic.com .  Here is a direct link to the score:


The orchestral parts are available on rental for public performances and/or recordings from Noteworthy Musical Editions.




2 flutes

2 oboes

English horn

2 clarinets

bass clarinet

2 bassoons


4 horns

3 trumpets

4 trombones (including bass trombone)



5 percussion (triangle, suspended cymbals, bass drum, tambourine Basque, orchestral bells, large tam-tam)



duration: 6 minutes


Mr. Starr suggests that light shows can be incorporated into live performance of this work -- starting with pitch black, and gradually progressing through the color spectrum to pure white.