Scriabin's first piano sonata is described by the composer himself, as a cry against fate and God. A highly dramatic and virtuosic work, it was composed at the time of his hand injury that threatened to put an end to a promising performing career. Formally, the piece is organized in four movements in an unusual fast, slow, fast, slow format, clearly pointed to its emotionally powerful funeral march finale. The funeral march theme is based on the F, G, A flat motif, and he's quite obsessive, almost self-consciously so in tying the movements together around that single idea. Although a very early work, this was the first Russian piano sonata to show such emotional depth, compositional expertise, and communicative power. This piece was entitled a sonata fantasy. It's an experiment in two movement design that must have caused the composer great deal of trouble since he came back to revise the piece many times. Formally, the two movements structure with each movement linked and carrying equal weight, is rather unusual in sonata history, but it is a successful arrangement. You might consider it a new version of the Moonlight Sonata but without the middle movement. The piece tells the story of a sea, with the first movement, a calm sea and the second movement, a stormy one. Although both movements are centered in G-sharp minor, he is smart to conclude the opening movement in E major, avoiding a sense of tonal monogamy. He also relates the two movements thematically by reusing this decorative material at the end of that movement, that would later become the basic material of the finale. The third sonata returns to the four movements structure but the tempos are in a more conventional order than they are at number 1. Really, this is the only Scriabin sonata in the traditional sonata format. A dance movement is in second place, and the slow third movement connects to the dramatic finale. The opening movement is a splendid example of Scriabin's gorgeous melodic lines and harmonies, as well as a showcase of his skill in counterpoint. This turbulent finale shows a significant advance in his use of chromaticism and is, in my opinion, one of the most technically difficult of all Scriabin pieces to perform. Noteworthy in this sonata is the technique of taking a beautiful and sensuous melodic idea and transforming it into a huge climax. This method would become essential in all of his later works. Here, he uses that technique to unify the movements of his sonata on a large scale. This is the main theme of the third movement. Now, here's its apotheosis towards the end of the finale. This piece is perhaps a kind of return to the two-movement form, but unlike Sonata number 2, the movements do not even pretend to balance one another. Rather, the brief slow movement opening serves as an introduction to the Prestissimo volando, which is the main body of the sonata. As in the third sonata, Scriabin is first introducing us to a beautiful limpid theme. Sure enough, the entire second movement, which is a fast movement, is going to build towards the glorious culmination of that idea. The conclusion of this sonata is really quite thrilling. It's a Wagnerian big climax heard on the piano. However splendid it is, the climax is rather conventional. It's in accordance with the received tradition. The story told by this sonata has a very clear shape, which accounts to some of the enduring popularity of this work. Rachmaninoff also prefers to end his larger pieces with an exciting climax.