During the 1920s Sofronitsky gave a large number of concerts in Russia, and in 1928 he and his wife visited Warsaw on their way to Paris where they spent two years, becoming friendly with Sergei Prokofiev and Nikolai Medtner. Sofronitsky returned to Leningrad in 1930 but had by now separated from his wife. The following years were spent broadening his already wide repertoire considerably. Sofronitsky’s name would forever be linked with Scriabin, but he was now playing the Viennese classics, Baroque music, works by Schumann and music of the composers he had met in France. In the 1937–1938 season Sofronitsky gave a series of twelve recitals encompassing the history of keyboard music from Buxtehude to Shostakovich. Nothing had been heard like it in Russia since the great days of Anton Rubinstein’s famous Historic Recitals.
Because Sofronistky did not bow to Soviet officialdom, he was not allowed to leave the country, and therefore was not able to play abroad. He had a post at the Moscow Conservatory from 1943 until his death, but during this time he gave numerous concerts at the Moscow Conservatory and Scriabin Museum. In 1942 Sofronitsky was evacuated from Leningrad to Moscow where he lived with his estranged wife and children. He performed at the Potsdam Conference of the victorious Allied powers in 1945, and in 1949 gave five recitals of Chopin’s works on consecutive nights in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory to mark the centenary year of the Polish composer’s death. In 1953, to mark the 125th centenary of Schubert’s death, Sofronitsky gave a recital devoted to the Viennese composer’s works.
Sofronitsky’s health had deteriorated as a result of a heart condition and the privations he had experienced during World War II. In 1954 he gave his last performance in Leningrad and the following year his last in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. During the last few years of his life Sofronitsky gave concerts in the more intimate surroundings of the Scriabin Museum and Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. During 1957 he was too ill to perform, but was back on stage the following year ; however 1959 saw him bed-ridden again and cancer was diagnosed. Knowing that time was short for him, Sofronitsky played nine recitals in ten weeks from October to December 1959. It is often reported that in his final years Sofronitsky became addicted to drugs and alcohol, but little or no evidence has been supplied to support this. He was only sixty when he died.
A solitary figure, Sofronitsky hated teaching at the Moscow Conservatory and rarely became close to his associates. Audiences at his concerts would often perceive some kind of revelation or magic in his performances, particularly in the music of Scriabin. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest of Russian pianists, and it was only his inability to perform in the West and his death at a comparatively early age that prevented his name gaining the recognition it deserved.
© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — Jonathan Summers (A–Z of Pianists, Naxos 8.558107–10)Source : http://www.naxos.com/person/Vladimir_Sofronitsky/43886.htm
Sonata n° 14 in A Minor, D. 784, Op. Posth. 143
1 I. Allegro 10:06
2 II. Andante 4:00
3 III. Allegro vivace 4:36
(arr. Franz Liszt)
4 Der Müller und der Bach, S. 565bis, n° 2 (D. 795, n° 19) 4:52
5 Aufenthalt, S. 560, n° 3 (D 957, n° 5, from "Schwanengesang") 3:25
6 Frühlingsglaube, Op. 20, n° 2 4:39
7 Der Doppelgänger, D 957, n° 13 (from "Schwanengesang") 2:24
8 Litanei, D. 343 4:39
9 Die Stadt, S. 560, n° 1 (D 957, n° 11, from "Schwanengesang") 3:57
10 Die Junge Nonne, S. 558, n° 6 (D. 828) 3:13
11 Am Meer, D 957, n° 12 (from "Schwanengesang") 3:50
12 Barcarolle 3:31
13 Der Erlkönig, S. 558, n° 4 (D. 328) 4:48
14 Wanderer Fantasia in C Major D. 760, Op. 15 20:00
[I. Allegro con fuoco ma non troppo - II. Adagio - III. Presto - IV. Allegro]
*Vladimir Sofronitsky - p
From Complete Recordings, vol. 5 'From the Concerts at the Grand Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonia' (Live 1949/55) ? - M10-42469-78 (5LPs) Complete Recordings, vol. 6 ?