This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is the first and in some ways best of the series of the Nonesuch solo releases featuring Mieczyslaw Horszowski, all recorded when the pianist was well into his 90s. It's amazing how well he played at 94. Tiny imbalances and occasional over-pedaling don't matter in light of what Horszowski could still project insofar as nuance, harmonic tension, and tonal rapture--all faithfully reproduced by Max Wilcox's sensitive engineering. Just sample the Chopin D-flat Nocturne's gorgeously-timed coda, with its disembodied echo phrases, or Horszowski's improvisatory sculpting of the Mozart Fantasy's concluding major-key section. Subtle tempo modifications underline the Children's Corner Suite's surprising twists of phrase and wry humor, although
the pianist's characteristic left-hand anticipations don't really work in The Little Shepherd.
You could imagine more bite and dynamic contrast in the Beethoven A major's first movement, but the performance gains profile and confidence as it progresses. The Largo appassionato is a little sedate and unfocused at times (specifically concerning the relationship between the sustained right-hand chords and detached left-hand bass notes); however, the Scherzo is lithe and effortless, while Horszowski thankfully phrases the Rondo's main theme without the affected rubato in the repeated notes that way too many pianists deem appropriate. Joseph Horowitz's booklet notes accurately and lovingly convey the high regard in which Horszowski's colleagues and students held him. Thanks to Arkivmusic.com's on-demand reprint program for restoring Horszowski's precious Nonesuch legacy to the catalog.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Children's Corner by Claude Debussy
Mieczyslaw Horszowski (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1906-1908; France
Featured Sound Samples
Fantasia for Piano in D minor (Mozart)
Piano Sonata no 2 (Beethoven): I. Allegro vivace
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