Horowitz Live and Unedited: The Historic 1965 Carnegie Hall Return Concert
In 1953, after one of his regular Carnegie Hall recitals, Vladimir Horowitz unexpectedly retired from public performances. He disappeared for 12 long years. Then, just as suddenly as he left, the great Russian-born virtuoso came back on May 9, 1965, with a Carnegie Hall recital. The announcement of the pianist's return caused a sensation, and the concert itself was one of the most exciting in the hall's illustrious history. Luckily, the folks at Columbia Records (now Sony Classical) had the good sense to have their microphones in place. But after the event, Horowitz-the-perfectionist insisted on "touching up" some slipped notes before the record's release. The album was rushed to stores and won three Grammy Awards that year, but the touch-ups provoked some amount of controversy among pianophiles. Now, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Horowitz's birth, Sony is releasing that legendary, unedited performance for the first time. And, the controversy aside, there is perhaps no better document of the Horowitz mystique, for even the softest passages seem charged with an electrical current. Fans of the pianist will certainly be eager to compare this with the original release, but those new to his art will find this the perfect starting point. The program itself is quite varied and includes many Horowitz specialties, including Schumann's Fantasy in C, Chopin's G Minor Ballade, Scriabin's "Black Mass" Sonata, and four marvelous encores, including Schumann's "Träumerei," which could be called his signature piece. The new digital restoration is thrillingly vivid, and the set comes with a bonus DVD that includes outtakes from the 1987 documentary Horowitz: The Last Romantic.