Vladimir Sofronitsky's live performance at Moscow's Scriabin Museum
Although Vladimir Sofronitsky (1901–1961) ranks among the most outstanding pianists of the 20th century, he has been forgotten by all but a small number of connoisseurs. The reason might be that he stopped performing in Western Europe as early as 1929 and left relatively few recordings.
Sofronitsky was not only Scriabin’s pupil, but also his son-in-law and spiritual heir. Moreover, he frequently played on the master’s Bechstein, which is now exhibited at Moscow’s Scriabin Museum.
This CD published in 2010 under the label Vista Vera includes a recording of a concert given on 7 March 1956 that was remixed in 2005 at the Scriabin Museum. The CD with works by various composers is thus not only an excellent collection of music, but also an historical document. Sofronitsky’s interpretation of Schubert’s Sonata in B Flat Major is quite wavering. Nonetheless, and despite the poor quality of the recording, the very emotional voice of the vintage Bechstein grand is clearly discernible.
The CD also includes fourteen works by Frédéric Chopin — mazurkas, preludes and waltzes — as well as three works by Aleksandr Scriabin. With this recording, Vladimir Sofronitsky demonstrates his mastery of melodies and sound nuances, asserting himself as a true poet of the piano.