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Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall

Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall Few pianists have risen to such legendary status as Kiev-born Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989). From his initial Russian concerts in the early 1920s until his final performances in the late 1980s – most notably his famed "return to Moscow" recitals of 1986 – Horowitz never failed to dazzle audiences with his extraordinary technique and uncanny sensitivity to tone color. Beginning with his US debut in 1928, Horowitz held a close connection with Carnegie Hall, performing over 90 concerts in this famed New York venue. Between 1945 and 1950, Horowitz contracted with an independent company (called the Carnegie Hall Recording Company, though with no association to the hall) to record his Carnegie Hall recitals, keeping them hidden in his private collection until the year before his death, when he donated them (along with various other memorabilia) to Yale University. Now, Sony Masterworks and Carnegie Hall have joined forces to release three volumes of Carnegie Hall recitals stemming from these golden mid-years of the pianist's storied career.

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In this first installment, Classical Archives presents Vol. 1, Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall Private Collection: Mussorgsky & Liszt, stemming from two Horowitz recitals of 1948 and 1949 of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Liszt's Sonata in B- (with a power rivaling his famed 1932 recording of this work). Our feature includes the complete album, which can be heard as individual tracks, or in its entirety. In addition, we've included a portion of the outstanding Liner Notes from the Sony Masterworks release by David Dubal, Piano Professor at the Julliard School of Music. Finally, we are very pleased to present a Classical Archives Exclusive, available for streaming and downloading by all visitors to our site: the first two Podcasts associated with these releases – the first featuring a fascinating discussion by Gino Francesconi, the Archivist and Museum Director of Carnegie Hall, on the lore of Carnegie Hall and Horowitz' personalized performance of Pictures at an Exhibition; and the second by David Dubal, a friend and biographer of Horowitz; these are part of an ongoing Carnegie Hall Presents podcast series continues with each subsequent release in the Horowitz set (for more visit www.CarnegieHall.org). Enjoy!

Liner Notes (excerpt)

When Vladimir Horowitz died on November 5, 1989, he was universally acclaimed as a pianistic genius, an artist who put the final touches to the art of high pianism. His disciplined virtuosity and incandescent musical imagination struck awe and delight in audiences and colleagues alike. His recitals were packed with pianists. To miss him was a sacrilege, and even if one did not care for him, there was always something to be astonished at and something to learn from his playing.

He was called "The Last Romantic" in his final years; the world seemed intent on holding him dear. During his last recording sessions, only days before his death, it was apparent that he was still exploring new aspects of his art. Indeed, after a long and turbulent life, one may say that he died too young.

Horowitz had become a symbol of the Romantic Spirit. Notwithstanding the fact that there are many outstanding pianists, we still yearn for his presence. His was the last "authentic" voice of the heroic Romantics of yesteryear – of Liszt, Anton Rubinstein, Busoni, Paderewski, Rachmaninoff, Hofmann, Arthur Rubinstein. Every age needs heroes, and Horowitz was the piano's last cavalier.

Excerpt from Liner Notes by David Dubal
Professor of Piano Performance
The Juilliard School
Author of Evenings With Horowitz
From the Sony Masterworks recording:
Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall: The Private Collection, Vol.1: Mussorgsky and Liszt

Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall - The Private Collection: Mussorgsky and Liszt
Vladimir Horowitz

CDs: 1
Tracks: 18

Sony Classical
Rel. 30 Jun 2009

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$9.99
Podcast Exclusive Series
Gino Francesconi (Carnegie Hall Archives)
Podcast
David Dubal, Part 1 (Julliard Professor)
Podcast
Play
1:30
1.Promenade 1
Play
2:23
2.The Gnome (Gnomus)
Play
0:49
3.Promenade 2
Play
3:31
4.The Old Castle
Play
0:31
5.Promenade 3
Play
1:03
6.Tuileries
Play
2:40
7.Bydlo
Play
0:45
8.Promenade 4
Play
1:10
9.Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks
Play
2:08
10.Samuel Goldenberg und Schmuyle
Play
11:16
12.The Market Place at Limoges
Play
1:12
13.Catacombs (Sepulchrum Romanum)
Play
2:30
14.Cum mortuis in lingua mortua
Play
3:04
15.The Hut on Fowl's Legs (Baba-Yaga)
Play
4:34
16.The Great Gate of Kiev
Play
3:04
1.Lento assai. Allegro energico
Play
10:19
2.Grandioso. Recitativo
Play
10:15
3.Andante sostenuto. Quasi adagio

In this second installment, Classical Archives presents Vol. 2, Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall Private Collection: Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and Balakirev, stemming from four Carnegie Hall recitals from 1946, 1947, and 1950, featuring four works by four masters of the Romantic era, each of whom figured prominently in the pianist's long career. The CD includes, as the prime focus, two fantasies (a most quintessential Romantic genre): Schumann's grand Fantasy in C and Balakirev's Islamey: Oriental Fantasy, among the most challenging pieces of the solo piano repertoire. The program concludes with two works by stalwarts of the pianist's repertoire, Chopin and Liszt, the latter (one of the two St. Francis legends), among those works that point to later musical developments. As with the first volume, the Classical Archives is pleased to present an Exclusive Podcast, again delivered by David Dubal, Horowitz biographer and Julliard professor.

Liner Notes (excerpt)

Horowitz once said to me – "I never play anything the same—never, never, NEVER!" – actually shouting the words with characteristic élan. Of course, unless one is an automaton, it is impossible to play twice the same, only the recording can achieve that. What Horowitz meant by his thrice repeated "never" was his affirmation of creative interpretation, his raison d'etre. Why else would a mature pianist want to play the piano if one's goal was not to stamp one's musical being on the given text, giving to the composition a new light? Like all responsible interpreters, Horowitz had his conception of a score, and would feel disconsolate if the realization faltered.

Horowitz said, "Schumann is always creative: I love him!" In Schumann, the pianist finds a kindred spirit, childlike, caressing, but thorny, too. In no other composer had he so laid bare his heart. The philosopher Roland Barthes wrote, "Schumann is truly the musician of solitary intimacy, of the amorous and impassioned soul that speaks to itself...of the child who has no other link than to the mother."

I once asked Horowitz if he ever performed Islamey; he replied, "For one season only." How fortunate that it was recorded at his Carnegie Hall program of January 23, 1950. Those who admire Islamey will be thrilled. There have been wonderful Islameys, but nothing like this for sybaritic abandon. To perform like this in public is to have hundreds of extra volts of technique. In this recording we are close to what the audience must have felt. Here is an alchemist of the piano at work with his audience mesmerized. As E.M. Butler remarked, "Magic, it must be remembered, is an art which demands collaboration between the artist and his public."

Excerpt from Liner Notes by David Dubal
Professor of Piano Performance
The Juilliard School
Author of Evenings With Horowitz
From the Sony Masterworks recording:
Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall: The Private Collection, Vol.2: Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and Balakirev

Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall - The Private Collection: Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and Balakirev
Vladimir Horowitz

CDs: 1
Tracks: 6

RCA Red Seal
Rel. 1 Sep 2009

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Add to Cart
$9.99
Podcast Exclusive Series
David Dubal, Part 2 (Julliard Professor)
Podcast
Play
12:18
1.Durchaus phantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen. Im Legendenton. Tempo primo
Play
6:37
2.Mäßig: Durchaus energisch
Play
8:55
3.Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten
Play
7:03
Islamey: Oriental Fantasy
Play
8:13
Barcarolle in F#, Op.60
Play
6:55
2.St. Francis de Paola walking on the water
 
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