Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Vladimir Horowitz and Art Tatum - Strange Bedfellows!

In the video " Horowitz-the Last Romantic", there is a most curious section which lasts but a few seconds. It is Horowitz, with that impish grin, breaking out with his personal mini-transcription of (believe it or not!) "Tea for Two," and it is perfectly awful, as Horowitz had no propensity to perform pop or jazz; however, there it is, if you can get hold of this video made a few years before Horowitz's passing.
The reason for this incarnation is Horowitz's fascination of the pianism of Art Tatum. Horowitz, it seems, was mesmerized by Tatum's fantastic arrangement of "Tea for Two", and, it seems, was working out a bit of this tune from time to time on his piano at home.
See if you can find Tatum's "Tea for Two". It was recorded in California just a few years before Tatum died. The incredible schematic that Tatum developed in this arrangement obviously captivated Horowitz, and you have the result in this little outburst in the Horowitz video.
How engrossing it is to realize the open admiration that the titan Horowitz had for Art Tatum.

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Blogger Jimmy "Big Nose" Durante said...

Also, Horowitz apparently stated overtly that if Tatum gave up jazz for classical music, he ( Vlad the Impaler ) would retire right there and then!

February 14, 2009 at 1:22 AM  
Blogger F.P.Barbieri said...

Apparently, a day or two after his first experience of Tatum, Horowitz was heard to say something like: "I came. I listened. I still can't believe what I heard."

March 15, 2011 at 11:26 AM  

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