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Uploaded on Oct 16, 2009
Ivan Wyschnegradsky (1893-1979) is typically acknowledged as a microtonal composer who spent most of his creative life in Paris and Germany developing his theories and "ultrachromatic scales." Before his emigration to Paris in 1920, he studied composition at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and became an avant-garde composer. Wyschnegradsky was clearly a disciple of Scriabin's music. He actually experienced something like an epiphany after hearing Scriabin's works and thereafter became a mystic, abandoned his Wagnerian approach to music, and emulated the "scriabinesque." His early orchestral work "The Journey of Existence" owes much to Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstasy". However, he was more interested in pursuing quarter-tone composition and even had Scriabin-like visions that this kind of music would push mankind to the next step in evolution. Composers like Messiaen and Boulez appreciated and performed his microtonal music, but there is virtually no interest in Wyschnegradsky today.