Poème du feu

Poème du feu

The Poem of Fire
A fiery homage to Scriabin



I am a diamond among all the stars, I am liberty and ecstasy.

Thus spoke Alexander Scriabin in his work Prefatory Act.

For the Scriabin centennial in 2015, fire was chosen as the central theme for a program we call The Poem of Fire (Poème du feu) which brings together composers who have been profoundly influenced by Scriabin’s work.

Ivan Wyschnegradsky was a spiritual disciple of Scriabin who transmitted his microtonal scales to Canadian composer Bruce Mather. Marc Patch, a student of Mather’s, has composed a new work for the Ensemble Variances that is imbued with mysticism and the esoteric sources of Scriabin’s music.

In this concert by candlelight, the audience will experience the sparks, the flame and eventually the fire when Ensemble Variances joins the great pianist and Scriabin adept Alexander Melnikov.


Note from composer Marc Patch

In this piece that I will compose for the tribute concert for the 100th anniversary of the death of Scriabin, I would like to emphasize the following points.
Firstly, I am going to refer to Scriabin’s Prometheus: Poem of Fire.
Following a musicological analysis, I will isolate the formal construction of that work which will then serve as a reference for the structure of my composition.
The element of fire will be ever-present in the composition and the instrumentation will reflect this by providing a space in which each of the five instruments – flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano – will be brought to light one after another, like a flame whose center contains the highest intensity of the fire. I already see the "mystic chord", which was so important to Scriabin, as the preferred material for my composition.
The mystic chord will interact with my favorite chord, which is based on a dominant ninth chord with the addition of seven other notes which, when arranged in superimposed thirds, give us the chromatic form. Within this interaction, filters will be used to define the fire analogy as it is set to music.

Alexander Melnikov
© Photo Marco Borggreve
Alexandre Scriabine / Alexander Scriabin
Salle Bourgie, Montréal, Canada, 2015
Salle Bourgie, Montréal, Canada, 2015


Ivan Wyschnegradsky

Meditation on two themes for the Day of Existence for cello and piano, op. 7 (1918-1919)

Gérard Grisey

Nout for contrabass clarinet

Alexander Scriabin

Cinq Préludes, op. 74

Alexander Scriabin

Vers la Flamme, op. 72

Thierry Pécou

Soleil-Feu for violin and piano (Thierry Pécou, piano)

Bruce Mather

Duo basso for bass flute and bass clarinet (1996)

Marc Patch

SILVER for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano

Alexander Scriabin

Sonate nº 9 «Messe noire», op. 68

Number of people

Guest artist

Alexander Melnikov piano

Ensemble Variances

Thierry Pécou director
Anne Cartel flute
Carjez Gerretsen clarinet
Liana Gourdjia violin
David Louwerse cello

The Ensemble Variances receive support from Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Drac Normandie, Région Normandie, Spedidam, Sacem, Ville de Rouen, Odia Normandie, Onda. The Ensemble Variances is member of Fevis, Futurs Composés, Bureau Export and Profedim. It is member of Groupement d'Employeurs Solstice, supported by Région Normandie. Caisse des Dépôts, main sponsor of Ensemble Variances.