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Horowitz Vol Ix - Late Russian Romantics


Release Date: 06/14/1994 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 53472   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Alexander ScriabinNikolai MedtnerSergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Works on This Recording

1. Pieces (3) for Piano, Op. 45: no 1, Feuillet d'album by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904-1905; Russia 
Date of Recording: 05/31/1972 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 1 Minutes 11 Secs. 
2. Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 8: no 2 in F sharp minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Russia 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 1 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: Selection recorded April 27 and May 4, 1972. 
3. Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 8: no 11 in B flat minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Russia 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 3 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Selection recorded April 27 and May 4, 1972. 
4. Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 8: no 10 in D flat major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/27/1972 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
5. Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 8: no 8 in A flat major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Russia 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 3 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Selection recorded April 27 and May 4, 1972. 
6. Etudes (8) for Piano, Op. 42: no 3 in F sharp minor "La moustique" by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/27/1972 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 0 Minutes 48 Secs. 
7. Etudes (8) for Piano, Op. 42: no 4 in F sharp major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/27/1972 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
8. Etudes (8) for Piano, Op. 42: no 5 in C sharp minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Date of Recording: 05/31/1972 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
9. Etudes (3) for Piano, Op. 65: no 3, Molto Vivace by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; Russia 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 1 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Selection recorded April 27 and May 4, 1972. 
10. Poèmes (2) for Piano, Op. 69: no 1 by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/27/1972 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 1 Minutes 56 Secs. 
11. Poèmes (2) for Piano, Op. 69: no 2 by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/27/1972 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
12. Vers la flamme, Op. 72 by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Russia 
Date of Recording: 05/31/1972 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 5 Minutes 42 Secs. 
13. Feuillet d'album, Op. 58 by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: Selection recorded April 27 and May 4, 1972. 
14. Fairy Tales (6) for Piano, Op. 51: no 3 in A major by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1928; France 
Date of Recording: 06/12/1969 
Venue:  30th St Studio, CBS Records, New York 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
15. Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/15/1968 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 20 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1913).
Composition revised: Russia (1931). 
16. Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 12 in G sharp minor, Allegro by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/15/1968 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
17. Moments musicaux (6), Op. 16: no 3, Andante cantabile in B minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/15/1968 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 6 Minutes 43 Secs. 
18. Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 33: no 6 in E flat minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/10/1967 
Venue:  Live  Constitution Hall, Washington D.C. 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Notes: The liner notes give the earlier Opus number: Op. 33 no. 5. 
19. Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 33: no 2 in C major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/10/1967 
Venue:  Live  Constitution Hall, Washington D.C. 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
20. Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 9 in D major by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/10/1967 
Venue:  Live  Constitution Hall, Washington D.C. 
Length: 3 Minutes 55 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Still Unequaled December 16, 2011 By T. Drake (South Euclid, OH) See All My Reviews "Volume Nine of Sony's Horowitz reissue contains music by the pianist's fellow countrymen Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Mednter which show the virtuoso at the zenith of his powers.
Horowitz, who at the age of eleven met the Scriabin, once described the composer's music as "super-sensuous, super-mysterious, super-romantic. It's all a little bit overboard." The pianist was ideally suited by temperament to play that Scriabin's highly charged, nervous music. Horowitz once described Scriabin's music as "super-sensuous, super-mysterious, super-romantic. It's all a little bit overboard." There have been numerous pianists who have equaled Horowitz's Scriabin technically (most notably Marc-Andre Hamelin) but none have captured the breathless, nervous quality of this music as has Horowitz.

The Scriabin selections were recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in 1972. Part of the success of Horowitz's Scriabin is his clarity, both musical and technical. The pianist adopts an almost structural approach to these works, which runs against the tendency by some others to slather them in Romantic excess. Horowitz uses less sustaining pedal than is customary in these works (as in the stunning Etude in Thirds, Op. 8, No. 10), although one would never think of calling Horowitz's Scriabin "dry." In the later more mystical works, he uses slightly more pedal, but never drowns the work in sustaining syrup as all too many pianists do. Even in Scriabin's most twisted melodic and pianistic contortions, clarity and balance are maintained. Horowitz also manages to produce a stunning fortissimo (as in Vers la Flamme) without hammering the piano to death or throwing the lines out of balance.

The Medtner Fairy Tale heard here was originally released on a Goodyear Tire promotional record in Christmas of 1969, but never attained widespread release until 1992. Horowitz's boisterous, flirtatious performance gets to the heart of the matter. Although the pianist gave all-Medtner recitals before leaving Russia in 1925, and occasionally programmed Medtner's works in the 1930s and early 1940s, his advocacy of the composer doesn't seemed to have gained any headway in his lifetime. Sadly, this is the only Horowitz Medtner recording to have been released.

Horowitz idolized Rachmaninoff, and the elder pianist/composer admired Horowitz in a kind of uncle/nephew way. The two had a close friendship from 1928 until the composer's death in 1943, and it was Rachmaninoff who sought out psychological help for Horowitz after the pianist's nervous breakdown in 1936. Rachmaninoff often had a complicated relationship with his own compositions. Such was the case with the Second Sonata which was composed in 1913, and severely revised in 1931, when the composer was placing greater value in brevity. Horowitz had played the Second Sonata (in the original version) at his conservatory graduation recital in 1920, and felt that the 1931 revision was too drastically cut. Rachmaninoff, who was never fully satisfied with either version of the piece, agreed and left it to Horowitz to put together a "compromise" version for his own performances. Unfortunately, we have no recording of his 1940 performances (the head of RCA, Charles O'Connell, no fan of either Horowitz or Rachmaninoff, scotched plans for the pianists to record the composer's Second Suite for two pianos and the two piano version of the Symphonic Dances) and therefore we have no record of the revisions Rachmaninoff approved. However, Horowitz did resurrect the work in 1968, the 25th anniversary of Rachmaninoff's death. This performance, recorded that December in Carnegie Hall, is one of the most electrifying piano recordings ever made. Horowitz, at the very top of his form, brings a lithe, pantherlike quality to this performance. He knows how to balance Rachmaninoff's thick piano writing to recreate the composer's swirling anguish, and for all the lushness of Horowitz's conception, the pianist's tone remains limber, spare, prizing clarity over histrionics. Even when all Hell breaks loose, the pianist remains solidly in control. Thirty-five years after it was recorded, it remains the definitive version Rachmaninoff's Second Sonata, and one can sense the approving spirit of the composer in the tumultuous audience response.

The shorter pieces are equally convincing. The Prelude recalls the jingling bells of a Russian Troika, while the Moment Musicaux is given an inwardly brooding performance. The Etudes-Tableaux are less melodic, more economical in texture, with an almost barbaric rhythmic thrust. Horowitz concentrates on the epic, picturesque aspects of these works, and the controlled fury of the D Major has to be heard to be believed.

This reissue is a must for all lovers of great piano music. The sound is some of the best Horowitz received in the pre-digital era, and particularly fine in the live selections. "
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