After an absence of twelve years, Vladimir Horowitz's return to the concert stage was one of New York s most exciting musical events. It was Sunday, May 9, 1965, when the great pianist stepped onto the stage of Carnegie Hall, greeted by a shouting, standing ovation. It was his first public performance since he had left the same stage on February 25, 1953. The recording of his recital would be awarded with three Grammy® Awards and become one of the most successful classical albums.
In the months before the historic day of May 9, Horowitz went to Carnegie Hall twice in January, twice in April to play for his wife and close friends, before he decided he was ready to perform publicly. Columbia Masterworks recorded these intimate private recitals, as well as his subsequent rehearsals for his return in 1966, on tape, and they have remained almost entirely unreleased for more than 50 years. The present edition invites the listener to enter the circle of the few Horowitz confidants who attended these events in the darkened, almost deserted hall: We hear Horowitz enjoying the freedom of improvisation in previously unheard, sparkling performances, his complete recordings in the brilliant sound of the concert hall, and many witty conversations recorded in an intimate working atmosphere.
The 212-page photo book contains a vast collection of previously unseen photos by Don Hunstein, three new essays by Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic Tim Page, pianist Jed Distler and Horowitz scholar Bernard Horowitz, as well as facsimile images and full transcriptions of the conversations.
- CD 1: Rehearsal January 7, 1965, Carnegie Hall*
- CD 2: Rehearsal January 13, 1965, Carnegie Hall*
- CD 3: Recording Session, January 26, 1965, Columbia 30th Street Studio*
- CD 4: Rehearsal April 7, 1965, Carnegie Hall*
- CD 5/6: Rehearsal April 14, 1965, Carnegie Hall*
- CD 7/8: Recital May 9, 1965, Carnegie Hall An Historic Return **
- CD 9: Rehearsal, November 9, 1965, Carnegie Hall Blackout Concert * / Recording Session, May 18, 1966, Columbia 30th Street Studio*
- CD 10/11: Rehearsal April 5, 1966: Carnegie Hall*
- CD 12/13: Recital April 17, 1966: Carnegie Hall**
- CD 14/15: Interview with Abram Chasins, June 1965* * previously unreleased ** (remastered)
In many key respects listening to these 15 discs is tantamount to enjoying ‘fly-on-the-wall’ access to Horowitz’s rehearsal methods, his way with alternate takes, his personality – by turns skittish and seriously focused – his childlike excitement and his endearing candour…Most of the playing is truly fabulous. It’s a priceless set, one to savor repeatedly.