Original works for piano and transcriptions of Beethoven, Messiaen, Skrjabin and Strauss

„From fog to blinding light”. In the year 1914 the mystical visionary Aleksander Skrjabin characterized his newly composed piano work, the Poème "Vers la flamme" ("Toward the Flame") in this way. In the same way the virtuoso pianist Severin von Eckardstein describes the idea of his new album, which bears the same title: "Vers la flame". Of course, this is no coincidence, but the result of an intensive work of reflection. In the way a flame emerges from a spark, Skrjabins’ piano piece gradually develops into a unique program in which von Eckardstein questions and examines nothing less than the connection between life and death.

The early tone poem “Tod und Verklärung“ (1889) by Richard Strauss, transcribed for the recording by the pianist’s own hand, frames the first main focus of the CD. According to an authentic statement this piece of work should portray “the death hour of a human being that has pursued of the highest intrinsic goals”. The suffering soul of the human being “leaves the body in order to find in the eternal cosmic space that which it could not fulfill here, completed, in the most magnificent form." With the piano sonata op. 111 (1821/1822) by Ludwig van Beethoven, the album offers a second epic work. In the two-set arrangement the composer seems to epitomize the here and now as well as the hereafter. The last piece from the cycle Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus (Twenty looks on the Infant Jesus) by Olivier Messiaen serves to some extent as a bridge between the central works. However, the pianist also adds a special transition to the sonata of Beethoven in the form of a skillful improvisation.

The whole recording hence resembles an excursion. An excursion through the land of emotions, driven by the power of music, a perceptive drive from the earth to the light. And the audience has already the chance to accompany the pianist. His CD was released on October 6th 2023 on the label CAvi.

And there is also a give-away. As digital bonus-track and charming rounding off for the album an interpretation of Beethoven’s Andante favori WoO 57 by Severin von Eckardstein is included.


Please find project-related information documents, links and selected publications below.