On this day in classical music: Russian pianist and composer Alexander Scriabin died in 1915. A prolific composer who is best known for his piano music, was a mystic whose music features unusual harmonies and textures. Listen to Vladimir Horowitz perform Scriabin’s Etude, Op. 8, No. 12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ClDFmFmr0k&feature=fvst
On this day in the musical theatre: “Bye Bye Birdie” opened in 1960. Charles Strouse and Lee Adams provided a lively score for this satire on American society. Originally titled “Let’s Go Steady,” the satire on American society is set in 1958. The story was inspired by the phenomenon of popular singer Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the Army in 1957.
Musical musings: Scriabin’s “Divine Poem” is the work of a neurotic, a Fourth of July celebration in which every member of the orchestra has signed a Declaration of Independence and makes just as much noise as he possibly can. – From Musical America, March 23, 1907.