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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:08 pm 
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Watching Horowitz is when you're pulled in by his artistic gravity. Audio alone doesn't do him justice.

PJF


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:53 am 
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PJF wrote:
Watching Horowitz is when you're pulled in by his artistic gravity. Audio alone doesn't do him justice.

PJF

That is true. He is one of the pianists I enjoy most on video.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:55 am 
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Syntaxerror wrote:
robert wrote:
Take Rach's 2:nd Sonata for example. It even does not sounds like a grand/piano anymore.

If that´s true, it does not really speak in Horowitz´s favour. The kind of playing you describe is typical for him:
he´s more like an athlete or a showman, but not a great musician.

A was very clever showman for sure but I think he had a great sence for music as well. But he searched for opportunities in the music to make use of the dynamics he was able to produce.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:29 am 
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Syntaxerror wrote:
robert wrote:
Take Rach's 2:nd Sonata for example. It even does not sounds like a grand/piano anymore.

If that´s true, it does not really speak in Horowitz´s favour. The kind of playing you describe is typical for him:
he´s more like an athlete or a showman, but not a great musician.



horse**** :twisted:

Rachmaninov's 2nd Sonata is a failure as composition imo. It's a lot of pianistic tissue thinly disguised as a Sonata, Rachmaninov himself did not know what to do with it. The second movement is beautiful, the first mvt. is unfocused and confused, the third is OK but kind of repetitive. But it gives a great artist ( and great artists only) a chance to display their wares. If Horowitz was not a great musician than he could not have acheived this feat. I have heard this piece played live satisfactorily or worse by several pianists but only well (or better) on two occasions by one pianist; HOROWITZ. On recordings only John Ogdon can equal or come close to him in this piece.

Why this piece is suddenly popular with pianists is beyond me. Scriabin was a greater master of sonata form than Rachmaninov (concerti excepted) and his sonatas are still underplayed.

Oh well, that's beyond me... :?

But leave Image alone.

Whose interpretation do you like... :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:45 am 
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Let´s see what another world-class pianist had to say about Horowitz; a quote by austrian pianist Friedrich Gulda::
"... I never did like Horowitz much. This tiger-like piano-playing, I have been immunised against it by the school I attended. All serious musicians from Vienna, among them my teacher, always have been watching out not to overrate this kind of piano-playing - as audiences worldwide did it. They said, well , he can thunder Tchaikovsky´s music very fast and very loud, and marry Toscanini´s daughter, but nevertheless unfortunately he does not know very much about the important music. That´s why I always had difficulties taking this man serious. And this showing-off is really disgusting to me, without the appropriate basis. Well, now he´s dead, and you should not run down dead people, but it just didn´t impress me. And then on one occasion I had to hear a sonata of Haydn played by him, and he stood there like a dying duck in a thunderstorm, it was just embarrassing. ..."
(from the book: "Mein Leben ist ein Skandal" ("My life is a scandal"), translation by me)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:13 am 
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I sympathize with Gulda here, even though Gulda himself is a bit of a funny duck and not beyond criticism.

The way Horowitz mauled the Liszt Sonata, trampling over all the great music in there and smashing it to bits, juts put me off him forever, never mind his admittedly unique pianism. It is true what Robert and PJF suggest, you need to see Horowitz to properly appreciate him. But that is not a compliment to his music making, if you think about it.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:53 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I sympathize with Gulda here, even though Gulda himself is a bit of a funny duck and not beyond criticism. [\quote]
Quite true. Gulda himself did some things that could be called embarrassing.... but nobody´s perfect!
techneut wrote:
... you need to see Horowitz to properly appreciate him.

I have seen him on the documentary "The art of piano", but I really can´t get what you mean. Seeing him playing some Scriabin etude I feel confirmed in my opinion. He thrusts the chords into the keyboard with absolute ease, sure, but what do I care if it´s so easy for him, when it sounds just terrible. Technique should serve the music, not the other way around.

By the way, does anyone know why the quotations obviously don´t work with me ?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:24 pm 
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[quote="techneut"]I sympathize with Gulda here, even though Gulda himself is a bit of a funny duck and not beyond criticism.

The way Horowitz mauled the Liszt Sonata, trampling over all the great music in there and smashing it to bits, juts put me off him forever, never mind his admittedly unique pianism.


Which recording, 1932 or 1977? The 1977 one is rather disjunct, it sounds like several short pieces rather than large piece with several interconnected episode. The 1932 recording is astonishing, if a bit fast in places. But my favorite interpretation of this work is Alfred Cortot's from 1929 I think.

It is true what Robert and PJF suggest, you need to see Horowitz to properly appreciate him. But that is not a compliment to his music making, if you think about it.

I saw him six times. It was strange, there was not a lot to see. Just this old guy sitting quietly at the piano, in strange contrast to the sounds coming from the piano which were larger than life itself, and I don't mean loud. BTW he sounded the same on record as he did live, no adjustments were made to his tone on recordings. He was able to project everything he played, even miniatures on to a "big screen" if you will, without losing the intimacy or small details in those pieces. His thundering is well known and documented, his other side is often overlooked.

Some commentators point out that his playing was often very self focused and the point of the music could get lost in his interpretations. Sometimes this is true, I've never liked his Chopin g minor Ballade performances for instance, and there's a recording of the Nocturne in c# minor Op.27 #1 from the "50's that I don't care for, there's just something wrong with it, sensitive and astounding playing notwithstanding. His Chopin is often more about Horowitz than Chopin, which would be annoying if a lesser pianist was playing.

But he is one of the greatest interpreters of Rachmaninov, Liszt and Scriabin there ever will be. This is music that fits his pianistic personality, technicolored, supercharged and larger than life. Underrated is his Debussy, of which there is not a lot of examples; There two recordings of "Etude pour les arpeges composes, one from the 30's the other from the early 70's. Amazing. :shock:

A unique artist, probably one of the top ten pianists of all time. A showman (sometimes but this is a sincere facet of his musical personality) yes, but insincere and unmusical no. In fact I don't ever expect to hear playing like that again. Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised one day.

Anyway when the Horowitz bashing starts I'm always there to defend him. 8) :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:19 pm 
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Syntaxerror wrote:
Let´s see what another world-class pianist had to say about Horowitz; a quote by austrian pianist Friedrich Gulda::
"... I never did like Horowitz much. This tiger-like piano-playing, I have been immunised against it by the school I attended. All, among them my teacher, always have been watching out not to overrate this kind of piano-playing - as audiences worldwide did it. They said, well , he can thunder Tchaikovsky´s music very fast and very loud, and marry Toscanini´s daughter, but nevertheless unfortunately. That´s why I always had difficulties taking this man serious. And this showing-off is really disgusting to me, without the appropriate basis. but it just didn´t impress me. And then on one occasion(from the book: "Mein Leben ist ein Skandal" ("My life is a scandal"), translation by me)


Well this is hyperbole worthy of American TV news!

Okay, he doesn't like Horowitz, that's fine. But you can't dismiss him like this. All the talk about "serious musicians from Vienna" and "he does not know very much about the important music" (a backhanded slap at Tchaikovsky:x) gives his hand away and reveals musical chauvinism of the worst sort. And "showing off without the appropriate basis" what does that mean? Gulda's esthetic does not allow "showing off", at least in the Russian "tiger-like" :twisted: 8) manner. I would like to know his correct context for showing off. Heh, I wonder what he thinks of his most famous pupil (Martha Argerich).

I detect pangs of jealousy in Gulda's assesment of Image

"Well, now he´s dead, and you should not run down dead people" Uh, yeah..... :roll:

I had to hear a sonata of Haydn played by him, and he stood there like a dying duck in a thunderstorm, it was just embarrassing. ..."

Listen to Horowitz' recording of Sonata #38 (?) in F major, 1966. It's no dead duck. But I've never liked Horowitz' Sonata #52 in Eb, either recording (30's and 80's).

Regarding Horowitz and the pre-Romantic repertoire, he had his strong points and weak points, like any pianists in any genre or style. Horowitz never made a secret of his basic dislike of and discomfort in Beethoven, but his Pathetique Sonata (1963) is extraordinary, as is a live Bach Toccata in c minor from the 1940's (urtext, not Busoni) but it seems that Horowitz had difficulty relating to German music in general, with the exception of Schumann. This isn't wrong, it's just the way he was, and he should not be criticized for it. His Scarlatti playing is unmatched by any other pianist, and it's devoid of romantic excess. In fact he was largely responsible for the Scarlatti rennaisance in the 1960's. He also championed Clementi, but no one cared; perhaps this has more to do with Clementi (uneven output imo) than Horowitz.

Anyway Mr. Gulda is entitled to his opinion (as we all are) but he really comes off like a snot.

BTW sorry about the horse :twisted:, Syntaxerror, I meant no offense, that was just my gut reaction. Now, here's a snooty opinion;

Gulda's "Jazz" :roll: performances, now there's a dead duck!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:13 pm 
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arensky wrote:
Heh, I wonder what he thinks of his most famous pupil (Martha Argerich).

Very good question! :D
So here´s another quote from the mentioned book:
"...[talking about himself as a teacher]... But there has been a time in the 1950s when I liked to teach.
While touring South America an extremely annoying mother with a "child prodigy" came to me. After some attempts to get rid of her - like I usually did in such cases - I realized it didn´t work in her case.
She was so persistent, so I said "in the name of god, then let´s do something" and we made an appointment. And Mama Argerich really came with her twelve year old daughter Martha. I was looking out for something average and uninteresting. She was very nice and I said "what do want to play", and she played Schubert with a childlike impartiality. I was completely beside myself, she was really something like a child prodigy. She started very early, like a ballerina - with four - and had had a very
good teacher, it was a man called Scaramuzza. Her mother was very pleased of course, the way I reacted, she wanted to collect references and already had one from old Rubinstein, and with these references she wanted to go to europe. So they actually appeared in Vienna, and Argerich was my student for over two years. The lessons were very strange, since the girl already mastered everything, it was insane - with twelve years - , I didn´t know what to teach her. There was nothing to teach regarding the technique, and so I honestly asked her, what she wanted. "Yes, I want to learn from you." "What do you want to learn, you already master everything?" "Yes, but please, I want such classical music and Viennese and so." And then I realized. She wanted to learn more about classical music in the european or Viennese environment. So our Viennese classical music, Haydn, Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms and such, more than you can learn in Buenos Aires, and I found that very sensible. So I tried to teach her something - for free. Taking money from the greatest talent I have ever seen, I wouldn´t have managed. She also won some competitions then. After Rubinstein and Gulda she went to Michelangeli. But I have to say, she´s bonkers. She´s very erratic, not reliable. She is also feared a little, because she often cancels concerts, she´s a wild one, a maniac, not easy to treat and always a certain risk factor. For some time she was married to a swiss conductor, that was her second husband, nothing is known about the first one, but she has a child from him, and she had a lot of pianist friends, with which she also had erotic relationships. She´s totally frank to me concerning that. She tells me everything, if I ask her: "With whom are you sleeping these days?" , she answers candidly, and I know exactly, when she´s happy or unhappy. She´s the little girl, although way over forty by now, but when she looks at me, she looks like little Martha with twelve years. At the moment [1980s] she´s together with a so called Rabinovitch, a russian pianist and composer. One of these dissidents that you have to take serious a bit. I told her that I´m pleased and I think they´re a good match. She talks very much and he says almost nothing. Strangely enough I didn´t give any concerts together with her or made any recordings, even when she was my student. But I am somehow attached to her."


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:44 pm 
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Quote:
By the way, does anyone know why the quotations obviously don´t work with me ?

Nope. It does not work for anybody except Robert (but he owns the site :wink: ).

You need to remove the ="name" from the quote then it works. Like this:

Code:
[quote]This is a quote.[/quote]


Very strange as it worked fine on the old forum.

I agree with you on Horovitz. We can always tickle arensky into a long defense by saying something nasty about him :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:16 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1hgzvuR-tk


enjoy.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:54 am 
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:shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:45 pm 
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As it is said in the film "Art of the piano" (qouting a bit from memory). "Perhaps since Paderewski, the pianist who really managed to capture a large audience was the Russian pianist Vladimir Horowitz". Somthing like that. Horowitz was a romantic figure (and perhaps the last in line from Liszt -> Paderewski-> Horowitz) and with romantisms comes the dream about the concert pianist. The Vienna "serious" pianists can sit in their miniaturistic worlds and be serious to their graves but if the wide audience don't give a damn, it adds nothing. They just do what thousands of pianists have already done before them. In Sweden we have a saying which translated is "The club for joint admiration". This is the classic elitistic view on classical music which brings it to its grave. It must be opened to the wide public and unless we continue to applaud pianists who give a show that the wide public appreciate, we add nothing to the world of classical music. We must stop and looking at ourselves as people who know music better than pop/rock/whatever fans. We have Horowitz to thank for Rachmaninov being pretty famous in these days. Without him, few people but from us who really are into classical music would know about him.

It is true that he does not move around much and sit pretty still, but it is these few moments of excitment, the small gestures that he makes that really does it. He takes his chances and sometimes plays faster than he really manage. That adds a trill no doubt. Also, he was such a warm hearted person so you can do nothing but love his character. He never thought of himself as the great artist he was and was extremely humble around his own playing. That is quite the opposite to many pianists and probably the reason why it is so easy to like him. But if you just listen to his playing, it does not always make sence. You got to have the entire picture with him on action to fully understand his actions as he really was a concert pianist and not a studio pianist. I have more or less seen all of his video taped concerts (most of them many times) and the reason I can see them over and over again is that I like his personality. I have many other video taped recordings as well which are incredible boring.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:49 pm 
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PJF wrote:
:shock:
:?:
I have seen this entire concert (it is from 1978 when Horowitz was 75 years old) perhaps 30 times as my son Oliver used to love it when he was younger. Not musical his best but it is incredible that he still in such a high age is able to play it like that. The best version of Rach's 3:rd is undoubtebly the 1951 recording.

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