I miss you all and am still mourning the loss of our Beethoven Piano Concerto marathon. So, I want to share a little piano music that has been engaging me (not Beethoven) and hope you find it rewarding.
There are strong opinions about the art of pianist Vladimir Horowitz, because his interpretations are so distinctive and differ from a school of pianists who believe strongly in adherence to the score. Recognized as the last of the great Romantic pianists of pre-revolutionary Russia, his concerts were cult events, particularly since he took several impermanent retirements. His comeback tours sold-out in hours.
Whatever the view of Horowitz, it is hard to argue his supremely poetic instincts, incredible color range, supernatural technique, and ability to build tension. So many of today’s virtuosos were inspired by the standards of Horowitz. I want to share a few of my favorite performances and hope you enjoy them.
This is a touching video of several of the greatest pianists (Argerich, Trifonov) of our time commenting on his art form. Check-out the audience in Moscow listening to his performance of Schumann:
Horowitz’s transcription of “Carmen Variations” is a tour de force:
This 1940 live performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 at Carnegie Hall, with the NY Phil, is a masterpiece. Check-out the cadenza around nine minutes into this audio file. I hope you listen to the whole thing though! Even with poor audio fidelity, you’ll get the idea.
Rachmaninov G-Minor Prelude:
I hope this brings some reminder of the beauty that surrounds us.
Pacific Symphony’s President and CEO