Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vladimir Horowitz - an "Out-of-Body Experience?" Read On!

The fourth recording of the Yale-Carnegie Hall recordings of Vladimir Horowitz was just released, and we continue to revel in these legendary performances which have never before been available.
I just finished listening to this recording, which was the final Berlin recital of the great pianist, three years before his passing.
Horowitz, approaching his middle eighties, was in superb form in this performance, and gives us the indefinable luster, control and power which have always been his signature.
In one piece, however, Horowitz appears, at least to me, to have become electrified at what he discovered that moment in the Scriabin d# Etude, a piece he had been playing for much of his career -it is as if he had never fully realized the implications embedded therein, and, as wonderfully thrilling and magnificently colored is the first half of this brief piece, Horowitz seems to have found a way to look back down upon himself from some sort of immeasurable distance, and the last half of the Etude, for me, is an experience I cannot describe. I am convinced that this performance of the Etude, unlike his other brilliant evocations of the same piece(which are on record) is a true fingerprint, and he himself would have told you that the experience he had while performing the Etude could never again be approached.
Have you ever tried to describe to someone on the telephone how to tie a tie? Well, this is precisely how I feel about attempting to describe what Horowitz experienced in this particular playing of the Scriabin.
Just go out and order this recording, and let me know on "comments" if you agree with me.



Blogger vaincre said...

it's a pleasure to come across your writings on horowitz. :)

February 10, 2010 at 6:48 PM  

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