2

From this score available on IMSLP, IMSLP69176-PMLP07375:

  • Editor: Konstantin Igumnov (1873-1948), Yakov Milstein (1911-1981)
  • Publisher Info: A.N. Skryabin: Polnoe sobranie sochinenii dlia fortepiano, vol.1 (pp.5-47) Moscow: Muzgiz, 1947. Plate M. 18650 Г.
  • Reprinted: Moscow: Muzyka, n.d. (ca.1965), Plate 886.

Etude No.4, the last measure of the first page. Time signature is 4/4, key is B major, and clefs are treble/bass.

Should the high-F# be positioned on the 3rd beat?

Piers Lane seems to play it so on his recording, but it is hard to be certain.

Otherwise the 2nd and 3rd beats of the right hand become quintuplets, aligned with the left hand.

12 Etudes, Op.8, No.4, final measure of pp.1

6

This is almost certainly an error, one borne out of the completely understandable mistake of equating the sixteenth notes of the right hand with the sixteenth-note quintuplets of the left hand.

The only definitive proof would be sketch material from Scriabin himself, which I unfortunately can't locate. As such, we just have to look at other evidence. The two most important pieces of evidence to me are:

  1. That the other scores on IMSLP have this F♯ occurring on the downbeat of beat 3. In fact, IMSLP has three editions from Muzgiz, and only your edition—the only reprint!—has this error. It seems that your edition also uses Plate 886, which may help explain the problem. The other two Muzgiz versions (here and here) have the correct notation. The same is true of the Schirmer score:

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  1. But perhaps more importantly, having this F♯ on beat 3 aligns with what's taking place in the legato cantabile section that begins two measures earlier. Nowhere else in the movement do we have syncopated extremes of register like your edition suggests. It's hard for me to imagine a musical interpretation that decides that your Muzgiz notation is actually what Scriabin intended.
  • 1
    Yep, this seems the most plausible interpretation to me too. Three against five is complicated enough. If we take Igumnov's alignment seriously, we have six notes in the right hand against eleven quintuplets in the left- pretty much impossible for mortals (I can just manage three against five) and musically unmotivated. – Scott Wallace Apr 18 at 16:49
  • 1
    I agree. Its hard to imagine that he meant anything else, especially if you look at the piece as a whole, as stated in your point 2. – JimM Apr 18 at 22:11
  • Thanks, I should've checked those other scores. – user19087 Apr 19 at 23:09

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