Remebering Horowitz: 125 Pianists Recall a Legend

Overview

Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989) was the measure of pianistic prowess for most of the twentieth century. Not since Liszt and Paderewski has any pianist created such a legend. When Horowitz condescended to perform, lines formed days in advance. His recordings, the most listened-to discography in history, are unique documents in the art of piano playing. Horowitz, the incomparable colorist, conjured in the mind's ear the spectrum of an orchestra with the expressive beauty of the greatest singing. Not all music lovers ...
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Overview

Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989) was the measure of pianistic prowess for most of the twentieth century. Not since Liszt and Paderewski has any pianist created such a legend. When Horowitz condescended to perform, lines formed days in advance. His recordings, the most listened-to discography in history, are unique documents in the art of piano playing. Horowitz, the incomparable colorist, conjured in the mind's ear the spectrum of an orchestra with the expressive beauty of the greatest singing. Not all music lovers have found Horowitz's interpretations congenial, but every pianist in the world must come to terms with his achievement. Pianist and writer David Dubal has asked 125 of the world's leading concert pianists to put in writing their experience of Horowitz and their feelings about him. The resulting essays reveal the dazzling wealth of emotion Horowitz evoked in several generations of celebrated pianists such as Emanuel Ax, Lazar Berman, Shura Cherkassky, Van Cliburn, Rudolf Firkusny, Gary Graffman, Grant Johannesen, Alicia de Larrocha, Maurizio Pollini, Charles Rosen, Peter Serkin, and Earl Wild. Mr. Dubal has provided biographical material before each of the pianists' essays. And for the music lover intrigued by the Horowitz phenomenon, the book contains an additional treasure: a compact disc of the maestro discussing his views on music. In these talks Horowitz looks back on his unparalleled career and offers unconventional views on Scarlatti, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin as well as thoughts on audiences, pianos, recording, and much else. The essays in Remembering Horowitz illuminate this extraordinary talent from an array of unusual perspectives. For example, Janina Fialkowska calls Horowitz a "master magician, a demonic puppeteer...manically tense, anguished, contorted, childish, cruel...but also producing moments of extraordinary beauty." Leonid Hambro recalls Horowitz explaining his rigorous practice routine: "I get so terribly nervous...
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``In my lifetime, he was the pianist that every other pianist was fascinated by; they hated or loved him--but indifferent, never!'' recalls Garrick Ohlsson in this collection of reminiscences of the legendary pianist who died in 1989 at the age of 86. The 125 original essays, edited by Dubal ( Evenings with Horowitz ), are written by some of the world's major pianists, pieces that range from the few lines of simple appreciation by Mieczyslaw Horszowsky to the carefully thought-out analyses of Horowitz's unique pianistic abilities by Emanuel Ax and Russell Sherman. Personal anecdotes by pianists who knew Horowitz, especially those who played for or studied with him, add to the appeal of this intriguing book, which reveals much about the genius of a great artist and also offers insights into the way pianists listen to other pianists. Perhaps no one will ever define satisfactorily just what made Horowitz's playing so special, but these essays help to re-create the magic spell he cast over his audiences. A CD of Dubal's interviews with Horowitz is included. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Dubal, former music director of a classical music station in New York and author of Conversations with Menuhin ( LJ 1/92), compiled these short remembrances from 125 internationally distinguished keyboard virtuosi in tribute to Vladimir Horowitz, the great pianist who died in 1989. The book might please those who love Horowitz and those who are devoted to the instrument of which he was a master, but there is little to entice others. Notwithstanding an occasional well-written example, this is a surprisingly tedious collection of ``what Horowitz means to me'' essays, and except for the accompanying interviews on CD, there isn't much compelling biographical or historical material to compensate the reader's efforts. True, the gallery of pianists is impressive and the essays taken together are a sort of composite portrait of modern pianism, but this is not enough to redeem the work. Only comprehensive music collections need consider.-- Daniel Fermon, Museum of Modern Art Lib., New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780825672149
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Pages: 383
  • Product dimensions: 6.17 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 1.26 (d)

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