“Perfection itself is imperfection.”
One of the most gifted pianists of the 20th century, Vladimir Horowitz (1903–91) entranced audiences with an idiosyncratic repertoire that stretched from Liszt and Rachmaninoff to Scarlatti and Clementi.
He was born in Kyiv, studying at the city’s conservatory from age nine, but fled the political turbulence in 1925 for Berlin and later New York. The neurotic Horowitz retired from performance four times – but crowds flocked to his spectacular comebacks.
Vladimir Horowitz - The Great ComebackArtists Vladimir Horowitz
Release Date: 08/23/2019
Sony Music Entertainment presents Vladimir Horowitz Live at Carnegie Hall, a deluxe CD edition that gathers together the complete RCA and Columbia recitals that the legendary pianist recorded live at Carnegie Hall between 1951 and 1978 – including eight previously unreleased complete concerts, as well as 48 works in previously unreleased recordings – all on 41 CDs and a DVD.
The first part of the set (CDs 1–37) consists of entire programs, including three previously unreleased concerts taken from the Horowitz Private Collection of his recorded performances at Carnegie Hall and four previously unreleased complete recitals from the RCA and Columbia archives, adding the Brahms Rhapsody in E-flat major, Op. 119 No. 4 and Debussy’s The Little Shepherd to Horowitz’s discography. Another seven recitals will be presented here at full length for the very first time, thanks to the addition of 48 works in previously unreleased recordings. All of the recitals have been painstakingly assembled and restored from the original source materials, and are presented exactly as they were performed, with all musical selections intact. In particular, the 1951–53 and 1965–68 concerts, as well as the November 16 & 23, 1975 recitals, are now all presented musically unedited. These programs cover almost Horowitz’s entire career at RCA and Columbia, and include such milestones as the historic April 25, 1943 Tchaikovsky First Concerto with Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra (given in aid of US troops in World War II), the February 25, 1953 concert marking the 25th anniversary of his American debut (including three previously unreleased selections), the May 9, 1965 “Historic Return” marking his first recital after a 12-year absence, the “Concert of the Century” of May 18, 1976 marking Carnegie Hall’s 85th anniversary, and the “Golden Jubilee Concert” of January 8, 1978 celebrating the 50th anniversary of Horowitz’s American debut with Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto.
The second part of the set (CDs 38–41) continues the story of Horowitz’s “Private Collection.” Starting in 1945, Horowitz engaged the Carnegie Hall Recording Company to record all his solo recitals at that venue. He discontinued this practice after 1950, when RCA began recording his concerts there. In 1986 Horowitz donated these recordings to Yale University. After his death in 1989, RCA launched a “Private Collection” series with individual selections chosen for release by virtue of their historical significance within the context of Horowitz’s career, as well as works that he did not commercially record, such as Chopin’s F minor Fantasy, Liszt’s Légende No.2, Kabelevsky’s Second Sonata, and Balakirev’s Islamey.
The third part of the set (the DVD) consists of the first ever release of the famous TV concert “Horowitz on Television”. The CBS Television Network originally aired this program on Sunday, September 22, 1968, allowing a worldwide audience to experience Horowitz’s artistry with their very own eyes for the first time in decades. It was rebroadcast on Christmas Day that year, after which it remained unavailable for 45 years, until now. In addition, the CD version of the broadcast not only contains the original “soundtrack” but also the full program in alternate takes.
Since Horowitz accurately claimed that he never played any piece the same way twice, piano-lovers now have the opportunity to hear multiple performances of certain works, and to compare how Horowitz responds to different audiences on different days with variations in nuance, tone color, touch, dynamics, tempo, phrasing, and pedaling.
This deluxe edition is accompanied by a hardcover book with an introduction by Jed Distler profiling Horowitz and his special relationship with Carnegie Hall, a brief history of Carnegie Hall, an introduction to the previously unreleased recordings from Horowitz’s Private Collection, and facsimiles of concert flyers and tickets, as well as comprehensive track listings and historic photographs.