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Scriabin chez Scriabin [COLLECTOR'S EDITION]
Sofronitsky's 1960 live recitals

Sonata No. 8, Op. 66 ( Dec.24,1960)
Preludes Opp. 22/1, 11/12, 11/13, 37/1, 31/1;
Poèmes, Opp. 41, 61, 69/1&2;
Two Dances Op. 73;
Preludes, Op. 74/3-5;
Poèmes, Opp. 52/1, 44/2, 59/1, 51/3, 52/3;
Poèmes, Op. 71
Masque, Op. 63/1;
Vers la flamme, Op. 72;
Fragilité, Op. 51/1;
Preludes, Op. 11/2,4,6,19;
Feuillet d'album, Op. 45/1;
Poème in F#, Op. 32/1;
Enigme, Op. 52/2;
Mazurka, Op. 40/2 in F#
(All the rest above Jan.6,1960.)

Arbiter 157 [UK Distributer Discovery Records]

Here is a treasurable recording by the great Vladimir Sofronitsky (1901-1961), Scriabin's "posthumous son-in-law", in a historic semi-private recital on Scriabin's own piano taped in the Scriabin Museum, with "a discreet group of attendees in the music room and in any possible space throughout the house". It takes only a few moments to become accustomed to the sound quality in most of the recital and for the exceptional quality of the playing to shine through.

This disc begins fortuitously with a later taping of the Sonata No 8 which begins the recital, because it was missing from the January recital recording. That has the benefit of excellent sound, after which one is more prepared to accept the limitations in the rest.

Allen Evans, Producer and Founder of Arbiter records, recommends listening straight through the recital, a carefully prepared programme "weighing and shaping subtle links and effective contrasts into a profound continuity" and afterwards following selections of the works with score in hand.

Readers unfamiliar with Arbiter Records will have a treat in store (see MusicalPointers' Pachmann and Busoni reviews). Allen Evans' notes on Sofronitsky and his career are comprehensive and interesting, and can be read on line. The booklet presentation is characteristic and attractive.

An absolute must for Scriabin afficionados and collectors of transcendent poetic pianism.

Peter Grahame Woolf