Author Topic: Vladimir Sofronitsky  (Read 19540 times)

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Offline Peregrine

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2009, 12:01:47 PM »
I watched the film The Pianist last night and for whatever reason I grabbed some Sofronitsky straight after. Not sure why, but hearing him play some of the Mazurkas just felt so right....

His recordings of Chopin, Scriabin and Schumann are some of the treasures of my CD collection. Love 'em! (Not to mention the Liszt, Schubert...)
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2009, 01:37:28 PM »

Did your record include the Andante Favouri?


No, only Sonatas. It is some years ago, as far as I recall none of the named or popular ones.
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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2009, 05:30:52 PM »
Technically he was still the son-in-law though, which is what I think Mr Dog meant.

Agreed, there's no denying the technicalities of the situation. But sadly this technicality has been used to cloud the REALITY of the situation. Which is: there is no link between Scriabin and Sofronitsky. The two never met, Sofronitsky never studied with Scriabin, and Sofronitsky never heard his "father-in-law" play.

By the time Sofronitsky married Elena papa Scriabin had been dead for years.

Which means the industry that's been erected around Sofronitsky as "Scriabin's son-in-law and therefore endowed with special insight into the composer" has no real grounding. :-\

I admit it's fun to romanticize about it all but it's important to keep things in perspective.

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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).

I've heard that story somewhere too.

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By the way, Kocyan, Csalog, who are they? Hungarian pianists?

Kocyan is Polish and Csalog is Hungarian:







« Last Edit: February 21, 2015, 08:49:17 AM by Dancing Divertimentian »
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 XB-70 Valkyrie

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2009, 09:37:22 PM »
I bought a bunch of the Vista Vera disks in Russia a couple years ago. Yes, his Scriabin is something special, and his Chopin is nice. But I really don't like the Rachmaninoff at all, and while the Beethoven OP. 111 shows some flashes of brilliance, overall I think it is quite uneven. It actually sounds as if he's getting tired halfway through it (not that anyone can blame him with all those pages of trills in both hands). He's another brilliant guy who hated to record, and was probably better live.
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Offline springrite

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2009, 09:56:54 PM »
While Sofronitsky's Scriabin is legendary, I was just listened to the newly acquired Schumann recording and it's remarkable, and for me even better than the Scriabin! I listened to it three times in a row. Incredible stuff!

His Beethoven hasn't convinced me, but it is certainly not boring or unremarkable. In fact, maybe it is the fact that it is too much the opposite that left me somewhat uneasy. But I will listen to them again and see how I feel after a few listenings with some time lapse.
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ezodisy

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2009, 12:38:43 AM »
   


that looks interesting. The preludes & poems are my favourite Scriabin pieces so I'll watch out for that disc

Offline cosmicj

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2010, 10:23:38 AM »
For me, Sofronitski is the best Scriabin pianist ever.  There is an all-Scriabin recital from 1960 at the Moscow Conservatory, which I believe is included on the Brilliant set, which is the summit of Scriabin playing as far as I am concerned.  The problem always is the recording quality.  BTW, the Volodos performance of Scriabin's 10th sonata live in a disc from a few years ago is brilliant. 

Offline Herman

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2010, 07:04:28 PM »
For me, Sofronitski is the best Scriabin pianist ever.  There is an all-Scriabin recital from 1960 at the Moscow Conservatory, which I believe is included on the Brilliant set, which is the summit of Scriabin playing as far as I am concerned.  The problem always is the recording quality.  BTW, the Volodos performance of Scriabin's 10th sonata live in a disc from a few years ago is brilliant.

The other problem is in the incredibly lousy instruments VS was playing on.

Offline k-k-k-kenny

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2010, 08:50:35 PM »
Agree with both Herman & cosmicj. Yes - the 1960 recital is on the Brilliant box. At least, there is much Scriabin from 1/1960 on the first 2 discs. But recording dates for Sofronitsky seem to be rather uncertain - he's not had the attention of an Ates Tanin resolving the conflicts. And it's a shame the instrument and the recording aren't better, and that by this time he was a very sick man.

The pity of it is that, as far as I know, we have no recordings which fully do justice to his gifts. This 2-disc compilation on Urania gives some idea of just how good he was in his prime, and it contains some unusual and interesting works:
http://www.discogs.com/Vladimir-Sofronitsky-Liadov-Medtner-Scriabin-Prokofiev-Borodin-Debussy-Goltz-Glazunov-Liszt-Chopin-R/release/1448495

I've only two versions of the Schubert/Liszt Litanei S562 - Sofronitsky from (supposedly) October 1960 and Leslie Howard from 1994. Howard plays it with wooden ears. Tho I see some criticism of Sofronitsky's above for sentimentality, I'd disagree. Understated, bitter-sweet and thoroughly beautiful.

And as far as modern Scriabinists go, Kocyan and Csalog are both very fine, and these two I think quite outstanding in a field with no shortage of players (Hamelin, Piers Lane, Eric Le Van, Pascal Amoyel and others):
http://www.discogs.com/Scriabin-Yevgeny-Sudbin-Yevgeny-Sudbin-Plays-Scriabin/release/1429826
http://www.discogs.com/Alexander-Melnikov-Scriabine-Oeuvres-Pour-Piano/release/1399857

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2010, 09:25:43 PM »

The pity of it is that, as far as I know, we have no recordings which fully do justice to his gifts.


It certainly is true that some of his best performances are marred by bad sound -- like the Schumann Fantasie and Appassionata from the Moscow Conservatory.

On the other hand there are some pretty fantastic recordings, in pretty good sound, on pretty good instruments. I'm thinking of the Tokyo Chopin recital discs on Denon; all three Russian Piano School CDs; the Beethoven sonata recordings Arlecchino; the Symphonic Etudes , Chopin, Schubert and Schubert/Liszt on Classound.

These include some of his very finest performances -- the 1960 Chopin Op. 20 scherzo and Mazurkas;  the 1949 Chopin Barcarolle, and Nocturnes Op 27/1 and Op 48/1;  the 1953 Beethoven Pastoral Sonata; the 1960 Schubert Impromptu D899/4; the 1946 Prokofiev Op.31 (Grandmother's Tales.)

And sometimes, even though  the sound is a bit soviet, you can hear exactly what he's doing. And the interpretation is so extraordinary that it's worth the trouble. Example -- the 1952 Beethoven Op. 57.

But maybe you were just thinking of Scriabin!?

« Last Edit: May 29, 2010, 11:26:10 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline k-k-k-kenny

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2010, 05:13:02 PM »
Some I have, but not any of the Denon or Arlecchino - I shall keep a look out for them. True, as you say, that a on good number of these you can tell what he's doing. And what he's doing is superb. I still wish we had something of the sound quality obtained for the best of his compatriots - though much of Richter, Gilels, Nikolayeva is of iffy quality, too.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2010, 12:03:46 AM »
Some I have, but not any of the Denon or Arlecchino - I shall keep a look out for them. True, as you say, that a on good number of these you can tell what he's doing. And what he's doing is superb. I still wish we had something of the sound quality obtained for the best of his compatriots - though much of Richter, Gilels, Nikolayeva is of iffy quality, too.

Yes. Both the Denon Tokyo Celebration concerts and the Arlecchino Beethoven are worth having.

Part of the problem is that he avoided the studio until, for health reasons, he could no longer give live concerts.

In the last couple of years of his life he gave quite a large number of studio recitals which were well recorded by Melodiya. I would say that some of them are up to the standard that Gilels & Co. got from Melodiya. (Some of the recordings on Russian Piano school, for example)

These late studio recordings are really interesting, partly because he had announced that his idea  of how to play Chopin’s music had changed. He said he wanted to be “more simple, more free, more severe”

In a way these later concerts – which are all in pretty good sound – are a summit.  They certainly are relatively austere, and, to my ears, they are  often tragic and intense  readings.

Still, the earlier recordings, bad sound and all, show another, more lively side.

Many of these earlier concert recordings are compromised by poor source materials. But the worst of it is Vista Vera's stupid transfer policy. They cut out higher frequencies, thus producing a highly violated and unnatural piano sound. My advice is that for Sofronitsky, avoid Vista Vera if you can.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 12:01:06 PM by Mandryka »
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Drasko

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2010, 11:07:44 AM »
Denon Tokyo Celebration concerts
What does Tokyo Celebration concerts mean?

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My advice is that for Sofronitsky, avoid Vista Vera if you can.
But you can't. They've released recently two volumes of Scriabin Museum recitals which include some stuff previously not existing in Sofronitsky's dicography - incandescent Chopin 1st Ballade and disappointing 4th, for instance. Sound is fair to poor.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2010, 11:53:03 AM »
What does Tokyo Celebration concerts mean?

I believe the two 1949 concerts on Denon (25 Nov and 20 Oct) were part of a festival celebrating the 100th anniversary of Chopin’s death.  Quite why I believe this I don’t know – but I have definitely read it somewhere!

But you can't. They've released recently two volumes of Scriabin Museum recitals which include some stuff previously not existing in Sofronitsky's dicography - incandescent Chopin 1st Ballade and disappointing 4th, for instance. Sound is fair to poor.

Here’s another reason

http://vistavera.com/index.php?productID=1613

In fact I haven't heard Volume 1 (I will do.) I have Vol 2 which I listen to a bit at a time (Very good Liszt there I think.)
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Drasko

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2010, 01:01:37 PM »
I believe the two 1949 concerts on Denon (25 Nov and 20 Oct) were part of a festival celebrating the 100th anniversary of Chopin’s death.
I believe they were. You got me cofused with Tokyo bit.

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Here’s another reason

http://vistavera.com/index.php?productID=1613
Aha, so the third volume is out as well. I've got only the first one this far.



Offline Moonfish

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2014, 01:35:39 PM »
I quite enjoy Sofronitzky as a pianist. Just listened to

Chopin: Nocturnes
Beethoven: PS 28
Mendelssohn: Variations

from this great BC set

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Offline George

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2014, 04:21:05 AM »
I quite enjoy Sofronitzky as a pianist. Just listened to

Chopin: Nocturnes
Beethoven: PS 28
Mendelssohn: Variations

from this great BC set



I need to revisit this set. I heard it once when I got it and wasn't terribly impressed.
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Offline George

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2015, 07:55:29 AM »
.



Revisiting this set and really enjoying it. So far, through about one and a half CDs of Scriabin. I could really do without the noise reduction used, but the performances are shining through.

What are the essential CDs by this pianist?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2015, 07:58:47 AM by George »
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Offline George

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2015, 07:44:54 PM »
^
Wow, many thanks for that!!!
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Offline George

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Re: Vladimir Sofronitsky
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2015, 09:38:08 PM »
10) some people think that the Philips 456 970-2 2-CDs set dedicated to Sofronitsky in their Great Pianist of the XXth Century series is way too bass-friendly, but I think it's very good; at least, there's no filtering in the higher end of the audio spectrum. The Scriabin disc contains pieces that, for the most part, have already been mentioned above....

Same performances or just works?



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