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  • Tatiana Schloezer-Skrjabina

    by Marina Lobanova
    Alexander Skrjabin, Tatiana Schloezer-Skrjabina und Julian Skrjabin.
    Names:
    Tatiana Schloezer-Skrjabina (orig.: Татьяна Шлёцер-Скрябина)
    Birth name: Tatiana Tatjana Schloezer
    Variants: Tatiana Schloezer, Tatiana Scriabine, Tatiana Skrjabina, Tatiana Schloezer-Scriabine, Tatiana Tatjana Schloezer-Skrjabina, Tatiana Tatjana Scriabine, Tatiana Tatjana Skrjabina, Tatiana Tatjana Schloezer-Scriabine
    Lebensdaten:
    b in Witebsk, Weißrussland
    d in Moskau, Russland

    Activities:
    pianist, composer, publisher
    Characteristic statement:

    „Я задыхаюсь, я блаженствую, я дивно сочиняю. Время от времени я отрываюсь от работы, чтобы подумать о тебе и хотя мысленно поделиться с тобой. […] Я для тебя пишу, моя дорогая радость! Ты все поймешь, все оценишь! Как никто! Ты оценишь каждый изгиб моей безумной фантазии.“

    “I am breathless, I feel blessed, I compose wonderfully. From time to time I feel torn from my work to think about you and to mentally communicate my thoughts to you. […] I write for you, my dearest joy! You will understand all, you will apprehend all! Like nobody else! You will understand every turn of my mad fantasy.”

    (Letter by Alexander N. Scriabin to Tatiana F. Schloezer dated 24th November (7th December) 1904, in: A. N. Scriabin. Pis‘_ma [Letters]. Moscow 2003, p. 326)


    Profile

    Ol‘ga Ivanovna Monigetti, a contemporary and friend of Alexander Scriabin, described her impression of Tatiana Schloezer-Scriabina in her “Memories” as follows:

    „Взор, вдохновенно устремленный на Александра Николаевича, когда он играл, разговор, никогда не касавшийся ничего земного, прозаического, а витавший в глубоко отвлеченных, мистических высотах, -- все это создавало вокруг ее личности тот ореол таинственной глубины, скрытых талантов и каких-то тонких, сверхчеловеческих переживаний, недоступных простым смертным, -- все это неотразимо действовало на впечатлительную, поэтическую натуру Александра Николаевича, жаждавшего вырваться из повседневной прозы жизни.“

    “The gaze that rested entranced on Alexander Nikolayevich [Scriabin] when he played, the conversation that never touched anything earthly, prosaic, but flew to most abstract, mythical heights, all this created an aura of mysterious depth, hidden talents and subtle, superhuman experiences around her [Tatiana Schloezer-Scriabina] personality that remained unobtainable for mere mortals. All of this was irresistible to the sensitive, poetic nature of Alexander Nikolayevich, who longed to escape the every day life prose.“


    (Ol‘ga Ivanovna Monigetti, “Vospominanija“ [Memories], Ol’ga Michajlovna Tompakova (ed), in: A. N. Scriabin. Čelovek. Chudožnik. Myslitel', [Scriabin. The Thinker. The Artist. The Man]. Moscow 1994, p. 35)

    Cities and countries

    Tatiana Schloezer-Scriabina and Alexander Scriabin initially lived in Italy and Belgium, later in Moscow. After Scriabin’s death Tatiana Schloezer-Scriabina and her three children lived from 1917 to 1919 in the Ukraine (Kiev, Novocherkassk).

    Biography

    Tatiana Fyodorovna Schloezer was born into a cultured, intellectual family. Her father Fyodor Yulyevich Schloezer (1842-1906) was a jurist; born in Bad Nauheim, Germany, he followed his brother Pavel Yulyevich Schloezer (circa 1840-1898) to Russia. His brother became professor for piano at Moscow’s conservatory, while Fyodor Yulyevich worked as a jurist in various towns. He married French pianist of Belgian descent Maria Alexandrovna Boti (1847-1937) whose family lived in Brussels. Maria Alexandrovna was very talented and had studied the piano at the Saint Petersburg conservatory with the famous Polish piano virtuoso and tutor Teodor Leszetycki (Engl.: Theodor Leschetizky; Russ.: Теодор (Фёдор Осипович) Лешетицкий). Maria Alexandrovna continued to regularly practice and play the piano even after her marriage and remained a brilliant virtuoso into old age. Fyodor and Maria Schloezer’s children Boris (1881-1869) and Tatiana (1883-1922) were born in Vitebsk. The Schloezer’s family residence was one of the centres of the city’s cultural life and both children received an excellent education. Tatiana was educated at the Vitebsk boarding school and studied the piano with her mother and her uncle Pavel Schloezer, who she visited regularly in Moscow. Tatiana aspired to a career as concert pianist and was also a talented composer, as Leonid Sabaneyev later attested (Leonid Leonidovič Sabaneev, Vospominanija o Skrjabine [Memories of Scriabin], Moscow 1925, p. 127). Her brother Boris Schloezer (also known as Boris de Schloezer or Boris von Schloezer) studied philosophy and sociology at the University of Brussels (dissertation about “L’Egoisme”, 1901) and at the same time music theory and music aesthetics at the Paris Academy of Music. He was a talented pianist, composed and wrote poetry as well as being active as translator and art-, music- and literature critic. Boris Schloezer, who had been music editor for “Revue musicale” for some time, established himself later, after emigrating to France, as one of the leading French critics and most influential Russian artist in exile. In Moscow’s circle of philosophers, Boris Schloezer met Alexander Scriabin (1871/1872-1915), who he had long admired, in 1898. A deep friendship soon connected the two: Scriabin discussed his artistic ideas with Schloezer and Schloezer made it his life’s mission to propagate Scriabin’s music and ideas. Boris Schloezer published much basic material on Scriabin’s idea of “Ecstasy” and on the particularities of his style, aesthetics and poetry, in addition to Vyacheslav Ivanovich Ivanov. After Scriabin’s death, Boris Schloezer published his philosophical and literary works (Aleksandr Scriabin. Zapisi. Teksty [Alexander Scriabin. Chronicles. Texts], in: Russkie Propilei [Russian Propylaea], Vol. 6, ed. by Michail Abramovič Geršenzon, Moscow 1919). Soviet music critics treated Schloezer with contempt for the longest time. It is only in recent times that his writings meet with more interest in Russia as well.


    Tatiana Schloezer met Alexander Scriabin because of her brother. She admired Scriabin’s music even as a young girl. They first met in November 1902 in Moscow’s hotel “Prince”, where Tatiana and Boris Schloezer lived at the time. Tatiana Schloezer expressed the wish to study composing with Alexander Scriabin during this encounter. Their relationship developed into passionate love over time. Tatiana Schloezer knew Scriabin’s music by heart; she adored him as composer and man and wanted to dedicate her life to him. Scriabin was fascinated not only by her charm but most of all by the intensity and authenticity of her feelings - his spiritual kinship with this young woman unsettled him. At the time he felt trapped in his first “conventional” marriage to pianist Vera Ivanovna, nee Isakovich. In contrast to Tatiana Fyodorovna, Vera Ivanovna had no interest in Scriabin’s new philosophical and mystical ideas and emotionally remained a stranger to the composer. Furthermore, Scriabin felt deeply offended and humiliated by his father-in-law, who didn’t understand anything about art and music or his son-in-law’s enterprises and considered him a slacker, being a freelancer without wealthy background. Alexander Scriabin and Tatiana Fyodorovna Schloezer went to Italy together in spring 1905 and settled in the small town of Bogliasco, where the composer worked on his “Poème de l’Extase“ with much enthusiasm in their tiny, dark apartment. Despite all constraints, financial difficulties and many other issues, the composer felt at home in his surroundings for the first time. In summer 1905 he wrote to his patroness, Margarita Morozova: “Со мной мой друг, Татьяна Фёдоровна. Она так глубоко понимает, что нужно для моего творчества, с такой нежностью и самоотверженностью ухаживает за ним, создавая атмосферу, в которой я могу свободно дышать.“ (“My friend Tatiana Fyodorovna is with me. She understands deeply what is required for my work, cares for me with such tenderness and selflessness and creates an atmosphere in which I can breathe freely.” A. N. Scriabin. Pis‘ma [Letters]. Moscow 2003, p. 388). Tatiana Fyodorovna Schloezer supported all of Scriabin’s artistic projects; she wrote a programme note for his third symphony entitled “Le divin poème“ as well as an annotation to his third piano sonata “États d’âme“, which was authorised by the composer (see Sigfried Schibli, Alexander Skrjabin und seine Musik. Grenzüberschreitungen eines prometheischen Geistes, München/Zürich 1984, p. 216, 174). She also took care of his correspondence to keep many acquaintances, friends and public life people informed about Scriabin’s enterprises. Scriabin and Tatiana Fyodorovna Schloezer, who in contrast to his first wife Vera Ivanovna had no talent for housekeeping, had severe financial problems, not least of all because Scriabin left the money he had already earned to Vera Ivanovna. However, despite all their difficulties, Tatiana Fyodorovna always supported her husband and his projects. As Leonid Sabaneyev stresses several times in his “Memories of Scriabin” she did not blame Scriabin when his hope that Vera Ivanovna would agree to a divorce proved unrealistic: Vera Ivanovna, called “heartless and egoistic” by the composer, repeatedly refused an official separation in 1906 and the following years, although Scriabin’s first daughter from his second liaison, Ariadna, was already born in October 1905. Later, Vera Ivanovna even prohibited the composer from seeing their daughters. His three children from his second marriage were only allowed to take his family name after Scriabin’s death. However, Tatiana Fyodorovna was never allowed to use the name “Scriabina”. Yet, Scriabin’s friends used the name unofficially, as they saw Tatiana as Scriabin’s second wife and this custom was later taken over in the literature about Scriabin. Living together unmarried was an enormous challenge at the time but, despite her inexperience, many humiliations and disappointments, some friends’ and relatives’ treason, not to mention defamations and evil rumours, Tatiana Fyodorovna, who was only 22 in 1905, remained undeterred: she tried to make Scriabin’s daily life ideal and watched his back so that he could concentrate on his creative projects. How difficult the couple’s social life was, can be seen in the example of Scriabin’s tour in the USA in 1906/7: despite his huge artistic success, the composer was forced to leave the country after Tatiana Fyodorovna came to join him and a journalist had received information about their “elopement”. Scriabin’s father also showed no understanding for his son’s extra-marital relationship. The situation improved significantly with the financial and moral support of famous conductor Serge Koussevitzky (Sergei Kussewizki, Sergej Kusevickij), who also convinced Scriabin to travel to Moscow in 1909 and settle in the city the following year. As a result, Moscow’s society was divided into two opposing opinions: there were those who supported Vera Ivanovna and declared Tatiana Fyodorovna and her brother to be Scriabin’s “evil spirits”; all of his works written after the third piano sonata were “nonsense”, “perversions” and “follies” to them; and there were those who admired Scriabin as the prophet of a new art. Tatiana Fyodorovna, who supported and inspired Scriabin’s work during his later and mature years, suddenly became the centre of public interest. This affected her habits and outer appearance. One of Scriabin’s closes friends, Leonid Sabaneyev, describes her characteristically: “Бледная маленькая брюнетка с узкими злыми губами […], она держится с преувеличенной строгостью, как «принцесса крови». […] Глаза у нее были острые […], очень темные, и трагическая складка на лбу и у губ […].“ (“A pale, small brunette with small, evil lips […], she behaved with exaggerated severity, like a born princess. […] Her eyes looked sharp […], very dark, on her forehead and around her lips she had tragic wrinkles […].” Leonid Sabaneyev. Vospominanija o Skrjabine [Memories of Scriabin]. Moscow 1925, p. 29) Tatiana Fyodorovna continued to dedicate herself to taking care of the composer’s daily routine. Her mother, Maria Alexandrovna, kept and administered the household with much skill. The family, which counted three children by 1911, lived quite secluded. However, Scriabin counted numerous Russian intellectuals amongst his closest friends, such as the poet and culture philosopher Vyacheslav Ivanov, the religion philosopher Sergei Bulgakov and the most famous contemporary poet Konstantin Balmont.


    The relationship between Scriabin and Tatiana Fyodorovna deepened over the years. She was deeply unsettled by the composer’s death in April 1915 and the worry about the family’s financial situation, as they remained destitute, and the composer’s inheritance couldn’t fill the spiritual void.


    After the October revolution in 1917 Tatiana Fyodorovna did everything necessary to keep Scriabin’s last apartment and inheritance intact. It is due to her efforts that Scriabin’s archive survived the dangers of that time and Tatiana Fyodorovna could donate the most important part to the Rumyantsev museum in Moscow (later Lenin library); today the material is kept in the Glinka national museum consortium of musical culture in Moscow.

    Tatiana Fyodorovna experienced another blow of fate with the death of her son Julian (1908-1919), an extremely musically talented boy who drowned under unknown circumstances in the Dnieper river. Following his death a deep friendship developed between Tatiana Fyodorovna and the famous poet Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva, who often visited and supported Scriabin’s widow. Their respective daughters, both named Ariadna, also shared a deep friendship and vivid spiritual exchange, as they both applied themselves to painting and poetry. Other regular visitors to Tatiana Fyodorovna during this time were writer Boris Zaytsev, composer Alexander Krein, the pianists and Scriabin’s students Elena Bekman-Shcherbina and Alexander Goldenweiser, famous musicians Elena and Mikhail Gnesin and philosopher Pavel Florensky. Tatiana Fyodorovna Schloezer-Scriabina died on 10th March 1922; she was buried beside Alexander Scriabin in the Novodevichy cloister cemetery. The Scriabin museum opened on 17th July 1922; Tatiana Fyodorovna was supposed to become its first curator. Alexander Scriabin and Tatiana Fyodorovna’s first daughter, Ariadna Alexandrovna Scriabina (1905-1944) helped many Jews escape as fighter for the French Résistance; she was killed shortly before France was liberated. Alexander Scriabin’s youngest child, Marina Alexandrovna Scriabina (1911-1998), established herself a musical scientist in France.

    Appreciation

    Alexander Scriabin valued the deep spiritual connection with Tatiana Fyodorovna above all and stressed this in many of his letters: “Я так благодарен тебе, мое звездное, за те лучи, которые исходят от тебя и постоянно врачуют мою душу.“ (“I am so grateful to you, my star, for those rays of light that you keep sending and that heal my soul.“ Letter A. N. Scriabin to T. F. Schloezer-Scriabina, 30th September [13. October] 1913, quoted from: A. N. Scriabin. Pis‘ma [Letters]. Moscow 2003, p. 614)

    Reception

    Tatiana Fyodorovna Schloezer-Scriabina has been described and judged extremely negatively by the circle surrounding Alexander Scriabin’s first wife, Vera Ivanovna Isakovich-Scriabina; Tatiana Fyodorovna was deeply traumatised by this witch-hunt. This tendency can also be found in most Soviet monographs about Scriabin. At the same time Tatiana Fyodorovna was often recognised and respected by the most important representatives of Russian “religious Renaissance”, such as Pavel Florensky, leading symbolists like Vyacheslav Ivanov and Konstantin Balmont, and Scriabin’s biographer Leonid Sabaneyev. Only in recent years has Russian music literature developed a tendency of not judging Tatiana Fyodorovna negatively. However, an adequate recognition of this extraordinary personality, her artistic inspiration and power and her contribution to the history of Russian culture is still outstanding.

    List of works

    Sources

    Research

    Soviet research has long been dominated by a negative assessment of Tatiana Fyodorovna Schloezer-Scriabina that still hasn’t quite disappeared. There are many holes in her biography; there may be unknown or unpublished documents and sources in Moscow or in France, where Tatiana Fyodorovna Schloezer-Scriabina’s mother, brother and daughters lived, that could shed light on her life and the relationship with Alexander Scriabin.

    Need for research

    Tatiana Fyodorovna Schloezer-Scriabina as a person is surrounded by many legends; her life and her importance as Alexander Scriabin’s wife and muse have not been scientifically researched and assessed yet. It would also be interesting and enlightening to research the origins of the Schloezer family prior to moving to Russia.

    Normdaten

    Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (GND): 1173012168

    Autor/innen

    Marina Lobanova, 07.03.2010

    Translation: Nancy Schuman


    Bearbeitungsstand

    Redaktion: Regina Back
    Zuerst eingegeben am 04.07.2010
    Zuletzt bearbeitet am 25.04.2019


    Empfohlene Zitierweise

    Marina Lobanova, Artikel „Tatiana Schloezer-Skrjabina“ (English version, translated by Nancy Schuman), in: MUGI. Musikvermittlung und Genderforschung: Lexikon und multimediale Präsentationen, hg. von Beatrix Borchard und Nina Noeske, Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, 2003ff. Stand vom 25.4.2019
    URL: http://mugi.hfmt-hamburg.de/artikel/Tatiana_Schloezer-Skrjabina