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Horowitz Rediscovered - Carnegie Hall Recital November 1975


Release Date: 05/06/2003 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 50749   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Robert SchumannSergei RachmaninovFranz LisztFrédéric Chopin,   ... 
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 26 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Most of Vladimir Horowitz's 1975-82 recordings for RCA Victor stem from live, edited performances. By contrast, this previously unissued November 16, 1975 Carnegie Hall concert (an event I was fortunate to attend) represents the great pianist in a complete, unspliced program, save for trimmed applause. The opening salvo, Schumann's Blumenstück, is more garishly phrased than the pianist's equally subjective reading nine years earlier (Sony). Listeners familiar with Horowitz's dynamically charged and imaginatively wrought Schumann F minor sonata recorded and released by RCA in 1976 will find the present account similar in design if differing in detail. The first movement's obsessive dotted chords, for example, are coiled to a tighter Read more degree, while the Scherzo is leaner and more sharply accented. There's marginally more sweep and lightness to the Finale's knotty runs, even if tempo fluctuations are less adroitly negotiated.

While Rachmaninov's G major Prelude intoxicates as much as in Horowitz's later readings (RCA and DG), the pianist overbuilds the E-flat minor Étude-Tableau's churning left-hand chords (better balanced in his 1962 CBS studio version). The two Liszt works also benefit from Horowitz's tonal magic, even if his earlier RCA mono accounts are more crisply detailed. On the other hand, Chopin's A minor Waltz absorbs Horowitz's more spacious, rhetorical phrasing as well as the pianist's relatively "straighter" past renditions.

The concert concludes with what I consider Horowitz's finest performance of Chopin's B minor Scherzo. He checks his mannerisms at the door and delivers the outer sections more directly and demonically than I've heard him do elsewhere. Even his notorious interlocking octaves in place of Chopin's written scales in the final bars explode with inevitability rather than effect for effect's sake. As for the encores, Horowitz played the Debussy Serenade and Schumann Träumerei more simply and effectively at his May 9, 1965 "Historic Return". Next to the controlled power of Horowitz's CBS Rachmaninov Op. 39 No. 9 Étude-Tableau, the orchestrally inspired textures have turned elephantine and bombastic (not helped by the overbrilliant, souped-up voicing of his Steinway). But Horowitz tosses off his signature Moszkowski encore to deft and humorous effect, and the audience eats it up.

Jon Samuels works sonic wonders with what apparently were problematic source tapes, and Harris Goldsmith's succinct annotations add valuable musical and historic context to the concert at hand. And let's encourage RCA to unearth more unpublished Horowitz: there's some great material awaiting release!
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Blumenstück for Piano in D flat major, Op. 19 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 9 Minutes 36 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in F minor, Op. 14 "Concert sans orchestre" by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835-1836; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 30 Minutes 12 Secs. 
3.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 5 in G major, Moderato by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
4.
Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 5 in E flat minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
5.
Valses oubliées (4) for Piano, S 215: no 1 in F sharp major by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
6.
Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse": no 4, Au bord d'une source by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848-1854; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
7.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34: no 2 in A minor, B 64 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Poland 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 5 Minutes 50 Secs. 
8.
Scherzo for Piano no 1 in B minor, B 65/Op. 20 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831-1832; Poland 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 8 Minutes 8 Secs. 
9.
Children's Corner: no 3, Serenade for the Doll by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1908; France 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
10.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 7, Träumerei by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
11.
Characteristic Pieces (8), Op. 36: no 6, Etincelles by Moritz Moszkowski
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
12.
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: 11/16/1975 
Venue:  Live  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Applause
Blumenstück in D-Flat, Op. 19
Allegro brillante
Scherzo: Molto commodo
Quasi variazioni: Andantino de Clara Wieck
Prestissimo possibile
Applause
Prelude in G, Op. 32 No. 5
Etude-tableau in E-Flat Minor, Op. 39 No. 5
Valse oubliée No. 1 in F-Sharp
Au bord d'une source (Années de pèlerinage, première année, Suisse, No. 5)
Waltz in A Minor, Op. 34 No. 2
Scherzo No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 20
Serenade of the Doll (Children's Corner, No. 3)
Träumerei (Kinderszenen, Op. 15 No. 7)
Étincelles, Op. 36 No. 6
Etude-tableau in D, Op. 39 No. 9

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 High-Voltage Pianism December 16, 2011 By T. Drake (South Euclid, OH) See All My Reviews "2003 marked the centennial year of the birth of Vladimir Horowitz. In commemoration, RCA released the complete, unedited recital of November 16, 1975. None of the repertoire on this release is new to the Horowitz discography, but as the pianist never played the same works twice in the same way, the performances contain new insights.

The first half of the recital featured two works by Schumann which were somewhat off the beaten path. The Blumenstück (Flower Piece) is played in a considerably different manner than his live performance from 1966. The tempo is dramatically slower, with more rubato as Horowitz occasionally slows down to smell the roses.

The Sonata in F Minor, (sometimes referred to as the Concerto Without Orchestra) is a problematic piece. Horowitz's go-for-broke performance here is in marked contrast to the version he approved for release on LP in 1976 (and far superior to the botched CD "outtake" version mistakenly released on RCA 6680-2-RG). The pianist takes considerably more liberties in regard to tempo and rubato, and he takes a great number of risks technically (particularly in the second movement, which is very fast) which don't always pay off. That was the thing about Horowitz in concert: like a box of chocolates, you never knew what you were going to get. In the final analysis, the LP version (which is available here: Vladimir Horowitz: The Original Jacket) remains the benchmark performance of this piece.

Rachmaninoff's G major Prelude is played with loving tenderness and astonishing control of the lower levels of dynamics. The two Rachmaninoff Etudes-Tableaux (one of them was an encore) are given spasmodic, occasionally brutal "go for broke" performances which teeter on the brink of disaster, but remain remarkable for all that.

Liszt's Valse Oublieé and Au bord d'une source had been recorded by Horowitz before, but it's interesting just how much more effective these live performances are. Whether it's due to superior recorded sound, or perhaps because Horowitz was "in the mood" that day, the pianist perfectly captures the prismatic mystique of the forgotten waltz, and the bubbling brook of the water piece.

Horowitz recorded more music by Chopin than any other composer. The A Minor Waltz (Horowitz's favorite) is played in a brooding, inward manner altogether different from his straightlaced 1971 studio version. The B minor Scherzo, a Horowitz staple, is given a feverish, slashing performance similar in tempo and mood to his 1951 recording, building to a stunning climax and concluding with interlocking octaves replacing the usual chromatic scales.

The encores by Debussy, Schumann, Moszkowski and Rachmaninoff are a typical Horowitzian show (the pianist announces the encores, which he usually didn't do), and bring an effective close for the recital.

To be frank, there are numerous unissued Horowitz performances in RCA's vaults (not to mention Sony's and Deutsche Grammophon's) which are even more deserving of release than this one. They include stunning live renditions of Poulenc's Toccata and Scriabin's Prelude for the Left-Hand alone, alongside studio renditions of the Bach-Busoni Toccata in C and numerous shorter works. Nevertheless, this release is an important document as it is the first time a complete, unedited Horowitz recital has been released by a major label. Despite its imperfections, it should be in every serious music lover's CD collection. The sound is a bit close for comfort but acceptable. "
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