Author Topic: Vladimir Sofronitsky  (Read 19537 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

George

  • Guest
Vladimir Sofronitsky
« on: March 13, 2009, 05:48:49 PM »
I have decided finally get some of this pianists work and see what I have been missing. I have the Brilliant Classics box on the way and have borrowed a Rachmaninoff Vista Vera CD, a Scriabin Sonatas CD on Classound and the Urania LvB/Schubert 2CD set. 

Here's a link to old Sofronitsky thread on the old forum

Here's a link to an old discussion of the Brilliant set (and others) from this forum Perhaps when Drasko returns we can merge the two threads?

How about you? What do you think are the essential Sofronitsky CDs?  :)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 06:23:30 PM by George »

Offline Holden

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1895
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2009, 11:22:32 PM »
I've yet to be convinced that Sofronitsky is the real deal. Richter, who called him a God, is a far better pianist IMHO.
Cheers

Holden

George

  • Guest
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2009, 04:24:44 AM »
This is my favourite.
I very much like his Beethoven and Schumann on this disc.
The Liszt/Schubert song transcription is very highly thought of and it's certainly worth hearing. But for my taste it's a bit too full of cloying expressivo. If you like it there's a CD with lots of them on Vista Vera. Someone's uploaded it on youtube if you want to check it out.

This is all referring to the CD in the attachment, right?

Quote
I'm not sure what to think of his Chopin Mazurkas. I know that the cognescenti rave about them, lauding his rhythmic sense etc.

But me -- I prefer others, to be honest. Michelangeli and Jonas for example. Pianists with a lighter touch.

I am sure that I will get shot down for saying this (but what the hell.) For me the Mazurkas don't have the right poetry. The right zal.

I look forward to hearing his Mazurkas when my Brilliant Box arrives. Those are works that I only enjoy with certain pianists, so it will be great to discover another pianist whose Mazurkas I enjoy.

George

  • Guest
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2009, 04:27:41 AM »
I've yet to be convinced that Sofronitsky is the real deal. Richter, who called him a God, is a far better pianist IMHO.

My initial impressions of the pianist were along these lines, but then my initial impressions of Richter (you might recall) were very much the same. For this reason, I have decided to listen to a lot more of this pianist's performances. Of those that Sofronitsky recorded, I hope to try as many different composers as possible.

Offline orbital

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2469
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2009, 04:50:22 AM »
Though his roster cannot be compared to that of Richter, I hold Sofronitsky with a higher esteem. Perhaps because he mostly recorded  composers that I listen to a lot.
With Scriabin, he is incomparable IMO. His Schumann (particularly his Schumann recital CD), and Chopin (the mazurkas and nocturnes he recorded) are generally my close to top choices. You also have to hear what he has done with the Liszt-Schubert song transcriptions in that Brilliant Box set :o
The only less-than-stellar performance I've heard from him was his Chopin preludes which lack inspiration and are even dull sometimes.

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 15159
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2009, 06:36:14 AM »
This is all referring to the CD in the attachment, right?

I look forward to hearing his Mazurkas when my Brilliant Box arrives. Those are works that I only enjoy with certain pianists, so it will be great to discover another pianist whose Mazurkas I enjoy.
Yep

I hope you enjoy his Mazurkas. I'm sure you know Michelangeli (I love the way the performances seem to pear them down to their essentials), and if you don't know Jonas PM me. If you're not allergic to historical sound then she is very special.

« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 10:01:27 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Holden

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1895
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2009, 02:09:52 PM »
Maybe I've heard the wrong performances. Yes, I thought his Scriabin was brilliant but I will definitely pass on his Beethoven and his Chopin.

I've heard this                                          this



and this



None of the three made any real impression, including Carnaval, Schubert D960 and the Rachmaninov. OK, maybe one listening isn't enough but I can usually pick up on a pianist on first hearing.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 12:58:18 AM by Que »
Cheers

Holden

Bulldog

  • Guest
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2009, 02:34:16 PM »
I've yet to be convinced that Sofronitsky is the real deal. Richter, who called him a God, is a far better pianist IMHO.

Of the two, I'd definitely take Sofronitsky.  In fact, I consider him my favorite pianist of the 20th century.

Bulldog

  • Guest
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2009, 02:37:19 PM »
Maybe I've heard the wrong performances. Yes, I thought his Scriabin was brilliant but I will definitely pass on his Beethoven and his Chopin.


For me, Sofronitsky and Scriabin are a match made in heaven.  And no, it has nothing to do with Sofronitsky being Scriabin's son-in-law.

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5981
  • Posts: who's counting?
  • Currently Listening to:
    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2009, 08:28:39 PM »
For me, Sofronitsky and Scriabin are a match made in heaven.  And no, it has nothing to do with Sofronitsky being Scriabin's son-in-law.

I hate to be the one to bring this up but Sofronitsky was never Scriabin's "son-in-law". Scriabin died when Sofronitsky was fourteen.

This is one of those strange campfire tales that's been repeated so often it has become legend. But it's untrue.

Yes, Sofronitsky eventually married Scriabin's eldest daughter but by then Scriabin had been dead four or five years. I suppose Sofronitsky could be said to be linked to Scriabin posthumously but since the two never met how far could that really get him? It certainly didn't give him "mythical" inroads into Scriabin's aesthetic. How could it? 

Anyway, for me Sofronitsky is fine in Scriabin but by no means the last word. Perhaps when there was less competition on disc Sofronitsky could hold court as "the" Scriabin specialist but for my money there are plenty of latter-day pianists who seriously challenge and even trump Sofronitsky's so-called "hegemony" in this repertoire: Kocyan, Gavrilov, Csalog, Pizarro, Richter, even Ashkenazy.
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Herman

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2593
  • there's something wrong with my brain
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2009, 07:22:18 AM »
I love Sofronitsky's Copin, and certainly prefer him to Michelangeli, who tends to project the pale, effeminate Chopin. And I prefer Sofronitsky's Chopin to Richter's too.

I like his Schumann and his Scriabin, too.

Offline (: premont :)

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9081
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2009, 07:56:20 AM »
Maybe I've heard the wrong performances. Yes, I thought his Scriabin was brilliant but I will definitely pass on his Beethoven and his Chopin.

I've heard this                                          this

None of the three made any real impression, including Carnaval, Schubert D960 and the Rachmaninov. OK, maybe one listening isn't enough but I can usually pick up on a pianist on first hearing.


Recently I acquired a Beethoven / Sofronitsky CD. I never heard anything so contrieved and mannered. Quite unremarcable.
It's better to act today than to regret tomorrow.
(Mette Frederiksen)

Offline aquablob

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 700
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2009, 08:58:18 AM »
I love Sofronitsky's Copin, and certainly prefer him to Michelangeli, who tends to project the pale, effeminate Chopin.

Interesting; I never thought of Michelangeli's Chopin as "effeminate."

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 15159
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2009, 10:17:09 AM »
Interesting; I never thought of Michelangeli's Chopin as "effeminate."

Webster's defination of effeminacy is:

2 : marked by an unbecoming delicacy or overrefinement

Macho may be a good word for Sofronitsky's way with Chopin. Hairy chested. Chopin with a big bazonga.

More seriously, to my mind Michelangeli's way with the Second Sonata and the late Prelude (opus 40something), for example,  are amongst the greatest things on record.

Even now, just thinking about it, I marvel at the tones he produces for the second subject of the funeral march, and the rhythms in the final movement. And the intensity.

Refined certainly. Delicate -- I don't think that's the best way of describling it because his Chopin is not weak and feable. It's strong and beautiful.

And certainly not unbecoming or overrefined.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 10:35:39 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Bulldog

  • Guest
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2009, 10:20:33 AM »

I have a friend who says he can tell the difference between male and female pianists just by the way they play. But that's bull surely!

The only way to resolve the matter is to put your friend to the test.  If he passes, then it's not bull.

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 15159
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2009, 10:24:29 AM »
The only way to resolve the matter is to put your friend to the test.  If he passes, then it's not bull.

I deleted that post and replaced it because I thought it wasn't helpful.

The reference was to a friend who thought he could tell the sex of a pianist just by listening.

And I have tested him. And he gets it right 50% of the time.

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Dr. Dread

  • Guest
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2009, 10:36:03 AM »
Webster's defination of effeminacy is:

2 : marked by an unbecoming delicacy or overrefinement

Macho may be a good word for Sofronitsky's way with Chopin. Hairy chested. Chopin with a big bazonga.

Macho Chopin? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Offline aquablob

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 700
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2009, 10:36:23 AM »
Webster's defination of effeminacy is:

2 : marked by an unbecoming delicacy or overrefinement

Macho may be a good word for Sofronitsky's way with Chopin. Hairy chested. Chopin with a big bazonga.



 :D

I would describe Michelangeli's Chopin as "refined," though neither overly nor unbecomingly so; delicate? no!

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 15159
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2009, 10:38:41 AM »
Recently I acquired a Beethoven / Sofronitsky CD. I never heard anything so contrieved and mannered. Quite unremarcable.

Really.

I like his Andante Favouri (on Russian Disc) and I was wondering whether  to buy more of his Beethoven.

Did your record include the Andante Favouri?

« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 12:32:37 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

ezodisy

  • Guest
Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2009, 11:47:59 AM »
Recently I acquired a Beethoven / Sofronitsky CD. I never heard anything so contrieved and mannered. Quite unremarcable.

Never heard anything so...? Aren't you the guy with about 50 sets of Beethoven sonatas, most of which are by second-rate (or beyond) pianists? Give me a break. Sofronitsky's Beethoven might not be to one's taste or even very good, but neither is this comment.

Vista Vera seems to have released most of the Denon Sofronitsky sets (many of which are still available from Japan).

I hate to be the one to bring this up but Sofronitsky was never Scriabin's "son-in-law". Scriabin died when Sofronitsky was fourteen.

This is one of those strange campfire tales that's been repeated so often it has become legend. But it's untrue.

Yes, Sofronitsky eventually married Scriabin's eldest daughter but by then Scriabin had been dead four or five years. I suppose Sofronitsky could be said to be linked to Scriabin posthumously but since the two never met how far could that really get him? It certainly didn't give him "mythical" inroads into Scriabin's aesthetic. How could it? 

Anyway, for me Sofronitsky is fine in Scriabin but by no means the last word. Perhaps when there was less competition on disc Sofronitsky could hold court as "the" Scriabin specialist but for my money there are plenty of latter-day pianists who seriously challenge and even trump Sofronitsky's so-called "hegemony" in this repertoire: Kocyan, Gavrilov, Csalog, Pizarro, Richter, even Ashkenazy.

Technically he was still the son-in-law though, which is what I think Mr Dog meant. I think it was in the GPOC set where they told the story of Sofronitsky's parents not allowing him to go to a Scriabin recital because he was sick on the night, and that apparently was his last chance (not that anyone knew at the time of course). By the way, Kocyan, Csalog, who are they? Hungarian pianists?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 11:49:44 AM by ezodisy »