Vladimir Sofronitsky

The Art of Sofronitsky: Alexander Scriabin

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Rightly, Vladimir Sofronitsky has a volume in Philips' Great Pianists of the Twentieth Century series and, fittingly, that volume is half Chopin and half Scriabin. For those listeners not familiar with him -- and considering how few of his very few recordings were ever released in the West, that's probably most listeners -- Sofronitsky was one of the great Soviet pianists, a pianist who was not only on the same exalted level as Gilels, Richter, and Yudina, but a pianist who was far more overtly Romantic than any of them. In his rhapsodic Chopin, one gets the sense that Sofronitsky is a nineteenth century pianist who just happened to have been born in 1901. But in his inspired Scriabin, one gets the sense that Sofronitsky not only performed Scriabin's music with immense authority, but identified with the composer so closely that his performances seem virtually definitive. This disc on the aptly named Classical Records label contains Sofronitsky's 1960 recordings of Scriabin's Fourth Sonata along with selected preludes, poems, dances and other short pieces and they are all uncannily, unnervingly effective. From the early gloriously Romantic preludes to the late, gorgeously orgasmic Flammes sombres, Sofronitsky's performances do what very few other pianists have ever done: they make Scriabin's music sound consistently like great music. Even those listeners who have an active aversion to the diminutive Russian composer might enjoy this disc. Classical Records' sound is remarkably clean and quiet, considering these are 45 year-old Soviet recordings.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:16
2
1:50
3
1:25
4
1:22
5
1:38
6
2:29
7
1:14
8
0:59
9
1:45
10
0:37
11
1:09
12
0:59
13
1:29
14
0:53
15
0:33
16
0:43
17
2:10
18
1:30
19
0:53
20
0:47
21
0:56
22
5:53
Poèmes (2) for piano, Op. 32
23
1:42
24
3:08
Poèmes (2) for piano, Op. 69
25
1:43
26
1:13
Dances (2) for piano, Op. 73
27
1:59
28
2:20
Poèmes (2) for piano, Op. 71
29
1:18
30
1:33
31
1:59
32
1:26
33
7:49
34
3:20
35
6:29
36
4:00
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