What Scriabin’s piano sounds like

What Scriabin’s piano sounds like


norman lebrecht

February 13, 2021

This is Vladimir Sofronitsky playing Scriabin Sonata No. 3 in F-sharp minor, Op. 23, on the composer’s own piano.

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  • Julian Jacobson says:

    Spine-chilling…the greatest Scriabin pianist with an added dimension!

  • A.L. says:

    Tremendous and highly individual pianist, the equal of any in the pantheon of the best.

  • Mo says:

    Blocky sound. Bass is oddly treble-rich. Surprising if this was his only piano. Strangely seems as if the sounds could be far-reaching. The overtones quickly begin to lack when notes are easily hammered on this piano.

  • Michael Kaykov says:

    Certainly in better recorded sounded than most of his Scriabin Museum recordings.

  • Lisa says:

    Anyting written by him or someone else he knew about this piano? Surely there’s a reason he chose it. I prefer it to the usually heavy handed version I often hear even in Carnegie.

    • Vassily Bondarev says:

      The piano is still there, the museum (in Moscow) is one of the best composer museums, with a lot of things preserved intact. Piano is still being played on important occasions (Scriabin’s birthday and the day he died). It’s an incredibly light subtle Bechstein.

  • Paul Carlile says:

    I’m quite surprose to like this, my least favorite Scriabin snorter plo by my absolutely least favorite interpreter. It’s nice when this happens; sometimes a combination of the two knee-jerk dislikes can produce a positive. Possible reasons: VS (imo), was more successful in the stifling darkness (as here) than in extatic upward-flying noises (4th & 5th snorters, for instance), also the Bechstein gives a particular color.
    Whether pinists were influenced by Scriabin’s instrument, i don’t kno, but the complete works were recorded (or according to some: “wreck-ordered!”), by Michael Ponti on Bechstein, and several others, notably Igor Zhukov, recorded the sonatas on Bechstein.
    The Bechstein company were the major importer to Russia until 1914; vintage instruments are still found in all states of (dis)repair, especially in the far-flung provinces!