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Liszt: Piano Sonata; Chopin, Schumann, Debussy / Horowitz


Release Date: 08/02/2005 
Label:  Emi Great Artists Of The Century Catalog #: 76858   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Franz LisztFrédéric ChopinRobert SchumannClaude Debussy
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Horowitz's 1932 Liszt Sonata has a breathtaking clarity, headlong sweep, and uncluttered directness that foreshadows aspects of modern Liszt playing while retaining plenty of "old school" color and drama.

The early Vladimir Horowitz HMV recordings selected for EMI's Great Artists of the Century series have had umpteen CD incarnations, legitimate and otherwise. Despite a general lack of surface noise characterizing EMI's most recent digital transfers from what I assume to be "inside" source material, I frankly prefer the added overtones and timbral bloom Bryan Crimp effects in his noisier (and more expensive) remasterings for APR. And in a few instances, Andante's transfers from commercial shellac
Read more pressings yield more vivid and vibrant results (Debussy's Etude No. 11, for instance).


I have no qualms, however, concerning the young Horowitz. What's so interesting about the legendary pianist's 1932 Liszt Sonata is how its breathtaking clarity, headlong sweep, and uncluttered directness foreshadow aspects of modern Liszt playing while retaining plenty of "old school" color and drama. Moreover, close listening reveals that Horowitz usually obtains bravura results less through technical calculation than simply by playing the music as written, which was not always true of his older self.


The octaves in the Quasi Adagio section, for example, sound positively jolting and urgent in strict tempo (the same observation applies to the same composer's famous central octave section in Funérailles, and to the final descending octaves of Chopin's "Black Key" Etude). At the same time, Horowitz spins out lyrical passages with heartfelt eloquence and an unerring sense of proportion, while his carefully contoured bass lines and inner voices reinforce Liszt's extraordinary harmonic tension. And notwithstanding occasional finger slips in the heat of battle, note the amazing accuracy of Horowitz's leaping chords, or the pinpointed control of his rapid figurations, achieved with little help from the sustain pedal.


Compared to Horowitz's Chopin Mazurka interpretations from the late 1940s, his earlier traversals are less garishly detailed and darkly lit. However, the Schumann Arabeske seems relatively matter-of-fact next to the pianist's delicately nuanced 1962 remake. The Debussy Etude's prismatic textures and rhythmic definition sacrifice nothing in impressionistic atmosphere, muffled transfer and all. Bryce Morrison's booklet notes perceptively zero in on the qualities that made Horowitz a key figure in the history of his instrument. [9/19/2005]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1852-1853; Weimar, Germany 
2.
Harmonies poétiques et réligieuses, S 173: no 7, Funérailles by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1852; Weimar, Germany 
3.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10: no 4 in C sharp minor, B 74 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Poland 
4.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10: no 5 in G flat major "Black Keys" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
5.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10: no 8 in F major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Poland 
6.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 25: no 3 in F major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832-1836; Paris, France 
7.
Impromptu for Piano no 1 in A flat major, B 110/Op. 29 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
8.
Nocturne for Piano in E minor, B 19/Op. 72 no 1 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Poland 
9.
Mazurkas (5) for Piano, B 61/Op. 7: no 3 in F minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Vienna, Austria 
10.
Mazurkas (4) for Piano, Op. 41: no 2 in E minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Paris, France 
11.
Mazurka for Piano in C sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
12.
Arabeske for Piano in C major, Op. 18 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
13.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22: Presto passionato by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1833; Germany 
14.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 2: no 11, Pour les arpèges composées by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonata in B minor S178 (2005 Digital Remaster): Lento assai -
Piano Sonata in B minor S178 (2005 Digital Remaster): Allegro energico -
Piano Sonata in B minor S178 (2005 Digital Remaster): Grandioso -
Piano Sonata in B minor S178 (2005 Digital Remaster): Andante sostenuto -
Piano Sonata in B minor S178 (2005 Digital Remaster): Alllegro energico -
Piano Sonata in B minor S178 (2005 Digital Remaster): Andante sostenuto -
Piano Sonata in B minor S178 (2005 Digital Remaster): Allegro moderato -
Piano Sonata in B minor S178 (2005 Digital Remaster): Lento assai
Harmonies poétiques et réligieuses S173 (2005 Digital Remaster): Funérailles
Etude in C sharp minor Op. 10 No. 4 (2005 Digital Remaster)
Étude in G flat Op. 10 No. 5 (2005 Digital Remaster)
Étude in F Op. 10 No. 8 (2005 Digital Remaster)
Etude in F Op. 25 No. 3 (2005 Digital Remaster)
Impromptu No. 1 in A flat Op. 29 (2005 Digital Remaster)
Nocturne No. 19 in E minor Op. 72 No. 1 (2005 Digital Remaster)
Mazurka No. 7 in F minor Op. 7 No. 3 (2005 Digital Remaster)
Mazurka No. 27 in E minor Op. 41 No. 2 (2005 Digital Remaster)
Mazurka No. 32 in C sharp minor Op. 50 No. 3 (2005 Digital Remaster)
Arabesque in C Op. 18 (2005 Digital Remaster)
Presto passionato in G minor (original finale of Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op. 22) (2005 Digital Remaster)
Etude No.11: Pour les arpèges composés (Dolce e lusingando) (2005 Digital Remaster)

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