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Historic Return 1965-1966 Box set


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Biography

"On revient toujours..." For most Europeans, Vladimir Horowitz had remained for many years an American legend. Then in 1982 he returned to London to give his first concerts there in over 28 years and in 1985 traveled to Milan and Paris for his first recitals on the continent in over 30 years. In autumn 1985 Horowitz re-established contact with Hamburg, where his international career ... Read more in Amazon's Vladimir Horowitz Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Jun 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000290C
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 375,206 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Toccata, Adagio And Fugue In C Major, BWV 564: I. Preludio, quasi improvvisando. Tempo moderato
2. Toccata, Adagio And Fugue In C Major, BWV 564: II. Intermezzo. Adagio
3. Toccata, Adagio And Fugue In C Major, BWV 564: III. Fuga. Moderamente sherzando, un poco umoristico
4. Fantasie In C Major, Op.17: I. Durchaus phantastisch und ....
5. Fantasie In C Major, Op.17: II. Maßig. Durchaus energisch
6. Fantasie In C Major, Op.17: III Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Mazurka In C Sharp Minor, Op. 30. No. 4: Allegretto
2. Etude In F major, Op. 10 No. 8: Allegro
3. Ballade No. 1 In G Minor, Op. 23: Largo - Moderato - Menno mosso - Presto con fuoco
4. Serenade For The Doll: Andante
5. Etude In C Sharp Minor, Op. 2 No. 1: Andante
6. Etude In A Flat Major, Op. 72 No. 11: Presto e con leggierezza
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Mazurka In B minor, Op. 33 No. 4: Mesto
2. Nocturne In E Minor, Op. 72 No. 1: Andante
3. Sonata No. 10, Op. 70: Moderato - Allegro - Puissant, radieux - Allegro - Piu vivo - Presto - Moderato
4. Sonata In F Major, Hob. XVI : 23: I. Allegro
5. Sonata In F Major, Hob. XVI : 23: II. Adagio
6. Sonata In F Major, Hob. XVI : 23: III. Finale
See all 9 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scriabinmahler TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Oct 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The volume 3 of Horowitz Complete Masterworks consists of the recordings from the memorable 1965/66 Carnegie Hall recitals. Tn the booklet commentary, Byron Janis writes;

'Listening to these magnificent recordings, one soon realizes that Horowitz was passing through a very special period in his career, very different from when he had last appeared before the public in 1953. Since then everything had been re-thought, re-felt, re-lived. What I hear in these performances is a purity, a kind of innocence that gives such a natural beauty to his singing phrases.'

Yes, there is a purity and a divine simplicity in his playing that penetrates to the heart of each work recorded here - the ethreal beauty in Scriabin's Poem Op.32, the exquisite tonal shading in Scriabin's late Sonatas, the delightful account of Haydn' F major Sonata played with the magical lightness, the dazzling and towering performance of Schumann's Fantasie in C, the deeply poetic account of Chopin's Ballade, to name but a few. All these performances display the pianist as a supreme poet of the instrument communicating with the audiences in such intimacy and immediacy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
A gigantic recording 20 Feb 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There's an interesting debate going on in the reviews below about Horowitz's technical and musical ability in general. Do yourself a favor and read through these reviews. It'll show you that Horowitz's ability to engender strong positions and fairly heated exchanges continues undiminished, more than eleven years after his death. What this proves, of course, is his uniquely important position in 20th century piano playing. No other classical pianist was as influential, no one's style was copied as much, no one was as frequently and thoroughly misunderstood (mere technician, mere dazzler, mere showman). What you have to understand in listening to these recordings is that he was a complete professional, totally devoted to his craft to the exclusion of just about any other interests in his life - a tremendously one-sided person. But within the art of piano playing he reigned supreme. His oddly introverted, unmoveable, purely efficiency-oriented appearance during performance (he never moved anythying but his hands - no facial contortions, no head shakes, no swaying body, and even his hands were super-efficient) contrasted oddly with the extreme extrovertedness of his playing. He knew so much more about the sound possibilities of the instrument than anyone else that listening to him was downright frightening for other pianists. I remember a well-known pianist during intermission at a Horowitz recital in Hamburg in 1986 laughing and crying at the same time, shaking his head and saying over and over again, "it's impossible. That was impossible. That can't be done" (he was talking about Horowitz's rendition of a Schubert-Liszt transacription).
Anyway, his mastery of the instrument far beyond all other humans' capacity has persistently clouded people's perception of Horowitz and made an assessment of his artistic merits much more difficult. Undoubtedly he had clear limitations as an artist (Beethoven, for example, was just not part of his artistc world). But we have to keep in mind that, unlike practically all classical musicians today, who are trained to be universalists and to assemble a vast variety of styles, Horowitz came out of a strong and idiosyncratic musical tradition - that of Scriabin and Rachmaninov. That tradition was his world, his artistic home, and he always explored other musical traditions from the vantage point of his particular musical identity. In all of this he proved extremely flexible (playing, for example, Scarlatti, Clementi and Czerny to great critical acclaim), but since he never aspired to neutrality and objectivity (like, for example, Pollini or Arrau), it always was obvious when he played music that didn't fit with who he was.
So the debate about Horowitz's musical merits that goes on in the reviews below is as old as his career. What's curious, though, is that a couple of reviewers believe to have found TECHNICAL shortcomings in his playing. That is new in Horowitz criticism. All his career he reigned as the supreme master of piano technique, acknowledged as such first and foremost by most famous pianists (Rubinstein, Argerich, Pollini, Perahia, and many others have rhapsodized - or expressed their jealousy - about Horowitz's technique publicly and at length). When speed and power decreased due to old age, he transferred his technical accomplishments to polyphony, to shadings, colors, multi-layered pianissimi unimagined before or after. In the present recordings from the mid-60s, there was no noticeable decrease in speed and power yet, but his development toward more sophisticated sound effects was well underway. In other words, the questioning of Horowitz's technical abilities in some of the reviews below is utter and complete nonsense. I can only surmise that the authors of these reviews are people raised on the bland, impersonal mechanical functioning displayed by so many contemporary pianists that Horowitz's edginess, his constantly going to extremes (of speed, of clarity, of softness, of bel canto, etc.) irritates them somehow. One thing Horowitz was never after was a polished surface. If you want pleasant, comforting stuff that you can play happily in the background while doing the dishes, Horowitz is not the artist for you. He demands total concentration. But he'll reward that concentration tenfold. Even if you don't agree or don't like what he does in a particular piece, you'll learn a ton about music listening to him. He's a very musically opinionated guy, and some of his work may irritate you a great deal, but he will never, ever bore you.
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
The greatest 20th Cent. pianist at his best! 14 April 2000
By Gordon Stevens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you were to take a set of piano music from only one performer to a desert island, this would be the set. Vladimir Horowitz was a pianist of incredible, almost unique, technical prowess capable of creating wonderful piano textures and tone colorings, and possessing his own dark, distinctive sound on a wonderful Steinway he had transported to each of his concerts or studio recording sessions. Of almost limitless ability, he suffered criticism from music critics because he severely limited his performing repertoire and stayed away from the concert stage for several prolonged periods because of his terrible insecurity and stagefright. He was especially criticized in his early years for bravura performances which were brilliant, but loud and not always tasteful. He was known for giving his enthralled audiences what they wanted, but it should be remembered that he championed Scarlatti and almost single-handedly brought him back into the performing world from near-oblivion, and it was Horowitz who premiered several important works by twentieth century composers such as Barber and Khatchaturian. He kept the works of the mysterious and exotic Alexander Scriabin from disappearing from piano benches in the conservatories, and he created some of the most imaginative and thrilling encore transcriptions ever heard in the concert hall. In later years, his repertoire expanded and he played some wonderful Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, much of which is featured in this set. The highlight of this disc collection from the early 60's through about 1973 is the historic return concert at Carnegie Hall in 1965. After a self-imposed exile from public performing for 12 years, he made this famous recital which is one of the most memorable in the history of recorded piano performance. Although he made several nerve-induced mistakes in the opening Bach piece, he settled down quickly and delivered a thrilling performance, highlighted, for me, at least, by the Chopin Ballade in G minor, which took away my breath and featured one of the most dazzling climaxes I have ever heard on a piano. His incredible performance possessed a youthful vitality which belied his 62 years. Throughout the other discs in this set one hears Horowitz at his best: still technically awesome yet more musically mature and capable of producing little miracles from pieces well-known, and less-known. No longer pandering to the expectations of the audience, he gave as his encore at the Carnegie Hall return concert, a precious, child-like Traumerei from Kinderszenen. The Schumann featured on these discs includes some of the most beautiful offerings available anywhere of this composer, including a wonderful Fantasy in C and perhaps the best performance ever on record of Kreisleriana. The Schubert impromptus are little miracles, and the Debussy that's thrown in makes us fantasize about the other French music he could have given us! His wonderful Chopin reminds us there are other views besides Rubinstein's to this most-important-of-all piano literature, and his Rachmaninoff is glorious. Performing into his eighties, he was a wonder of music and the 13 discs offered here give a personal record of a dazzling career from his very best years. It might be pointed out that several pieces are offered more than once in the set as they were recorded in several concerts and studio sessions and it is interesting to hear the differences in his performances. One might wish that his piano oeuvre had included more composers and a wider range of pieces, but this collection certainly highlights the work he was best known for, including as it does the various Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Schumann, Scarlatti, Scriabin, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Clementi, and Beethoven gems he was noted for throughout his long career. Anyone loving the piano, or just beautiful music must hear these discs!
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
One of the great piano recordings of all time 9 Dec 1999
By Hans U. Widmaier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In May 1965, Vladimir Horowitz, the greatest pianist of all time, ended a 13-year retirement and returned to Carnegie Hall. The audience contained many of the world's most famous musicians, and playing up to its frenzied expectations seemed impossible. Horowitz begins, tense to the breaking point. For a few seconds, his hands are out of control, and he hits more wrong notes than right ones. Then things settle a bit, and he starts to translate his tension into pure musical energy. In that first piece, the Bach-Busoni, Horowitz seems almost superhuman with his orchestral sound, his sharp rhythm, his alternatingly hard-edged attack and meltingly lyrical lines, his supreme intelligence. It must have been immensely frustrating for the pianists in the audience to be so rudely confronted with such hopeless pianistic superiority. The Bach is followed by a highly idiosyncratic Schumann Fantasy, where Horowitz shows a grasp of the work's structure and an analytic penetration of Schumann's neo-Bachian polyphony undreamt of by any interpreter before or after. The recital continues with musical and pianistic jaw-droppers. I single out the Chopin and Moszkovski Etudes, where the audience's incredulity at Horowitz's feats dissolves in laughter at the end of the pieces, the tenderness and intimacy of Debussy's Serenade for a Doll, and the truly moving Schumann Traeumerei. The remainder of this CD collection contains 1966 live recordings, many of which are as fascinating as the '65 concert. Particularly noteworthy are the Haydn Sonata for its dry wit, Chopin's Polonaise-Fantasie for the almost infinite range of expressions and emotions Horowitz creates, and Liszt's Vallee D'Obermann, which inspires Horowitz to the most atmospheric, most evocative music-making I have ever heard on a recording. In sum, if I knew I would lose my hearing in a few hours, I would spend them listening to these recordings.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
merely spectacular! 10 Mar 2001
By LuelCanyon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've only had this set about a week and have already indulged three complete listenings; it's a gold mine! - the power of preaching is persuasive in the Temple of Horowitz! I'm taken aback by the unity and continuity of sonics, an excellent and remarkable display of high engineering art. Everything important is here (almost! I wish some of the Scriabin Preludes had been included). There are sketches of incomparable pianism and supreme intelligence in these discs: Liszt's 'Vallee d'Obermann', and the Consolations; Debussy's 'L'isle joyeux' - so 'russian playing french'! - Scriabin's 'Vers le flamme' and the Black Mass sonata - one simply can't climb out of the volcano, it's terrifying and beautiful! - and the Scarlatti and Chopin. Only Gilels approaches Horowitz's indigenous understanding of Chopin. In the course of thirteen discs the glory can start to crash in around you, but at the last moment of endurance along comes 'Serenade of the Doll', or one of the Consolations. The Bach-Busoni is cerebral and fine. Horowitz gets rapped for the wrong romanticism - it's the romanticism of artistic intelligence that his art claims! I love that famous C clunker at the beginning of the Bach-Busoni in the Return to Carnegie Hall recital; more than that, I appreciate how Horowitz played his public pride in it, no retouches, etc. Shrewd, and very real, I think. He was a pianist of enormous humility on the inside, so completely knowing of his gifts - one of the reason his playing was something special. He possessed the often disregarded ability to stand completely outside his playing and admire it as one might a beautiful woman, with complete humility. It affords us the privilege of reaping joy after joy of a remarkable art the likes of which will surely stand true for a long time. 200 bucks is a lot of money, I probably would have thought it too much for the convenience of a collection; I'm glad someone else didn't feel that way, and gave me the set! - now I find it curiously too clever a package to be considered merely a consolidation of recordings into a 'set' - there is something indefinably congruent about these recordings. They fit together with harmonious intent, and shine and shadow the land with a marvelous music. Highest recommendation without reservation.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
How Live is Live? 29 Nov 2003
By Hank Drake - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is not a review per se. My review is posted under the "Live and Unedited" version of the 1965 concert. But I wanted to correct a few errors which have been circulated in regard to this recording.
First, the corrections used on the original version of "Horowitz at Carnegie Hall" were not made at a "patch session at Carnegie a few days" after the concert. Columbia's engineers had already recorded Horowitz's rehearsals and used that material for the editing.
Second, the editing in the album was neither as extensive as some have suggested, nor as insignificant as others state.
Here is a (mostly) complete list of the patches on the original album, which have been removed from "Live and Unedited":
Bach-Busoni: Preludio: Measures 2-12 and parts of the coda (Horowitz, by the way, does not play the ossias at bars 8, 10, and 12); Intermezzo: Small patches at bars 7 and 11; Fugue: Several edits between bars 97 and 110, and again in the coda.
Schumann Fantasy: 1st Movement: patches at 7:32 and 10:21; 2nd Movement: small patches at 2:44 and 4:32, and a series of patches in the coda 6:58-7:39; 3rd Movement: No edits.
Scriabin: Sonata No 9: No Edits. Poem in F-sharp: Patch from 2:16-2:26
Chopin: Mazurka: Small edit at 2:02; Etude: Patched sections from 1:27-1:33 and 2:15-2:20; Ballade: Small edits at 2:04 and 4:52, at least four patches in the coda.
None of the encores were edited.
It should be pointed out that the editing of supposedly "live" recordings is more commonplace than the recording industry will admit. Although not generally aknowledged, Arthur Rubinstein's 1961 Carnegie Hall Highlights album was patched, and most live recordings today are actually compilations from several performances.
Whether you choose this patched version, or "Live and Unedited" the 1965 return concert contains some stunning piano playing. Can anyone imagine the pressure Horowitz was under on that day? To prove you have not just retained your original greatness, but have deepened and become even greater cannot have been easy. The new, unedited version of the concert is not a revelation, but serves as a reminder of Horowitz's all too human frailty.
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