Search - Franz Joseph Haydn, Frederic Chopin, Alexander Scriabin :: The Boston Recital

The Boston Recital
Franz Joseph Haydn, Frederic Chopin, Alexander Scriabin
The Boston Recital
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Classical
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #2


CD Details


CD Reviews

Great Piano Playing, Poor Recorded Sound
Hank Drake | Cleveland, OH United States | 06/15/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Horowitz in Boston is a pirate recording of the pianist's October 26, 1969 recital at Boston's famed Symphony Hall (one of Horowitz's favorite concert halls) which turned out to be his last public appearance until May, 1974.Be warned, the recorded sound here is very poor. It sounds like the bootlegger who recorded this recital was seated near the back of the hall--the sonority is very distant and there is a great deal of distortion and pre/post echo. However, for those willing to listen past the bad sound, there are some treasures here. Two items--Scriabin's Etude in Major Sevenths, Op. 65, No. 2, and Horowitz's arrangement of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 13--are entirely new to the Horowitz discography.Then there is the playing. Horowitz is in rare form here. The Haydn sparkles. The Chopin Ballade in F Minor is given a performance which balances architechtonic grandeur with expressiveness, and the treacherous coda is handled as if it were child's play. The group of Scriabin Etudes shifts effortlessly between luxuriant decadence and demonic fury. Horowitz's arrangement of the Liszt Rhapsody is a bit different than his other transcriptions: the re-writing is relatively minor, mostly confined to touching-up (and yes, improving) the original coda.Michael Steinberg, music critic of the Boston Globe, wrote a surprisingly negative review of this recital ("at the deepest level, boring..fussy...catastrophic"). All I can say, hearing the recorded evidence, is that Steinberg's ears must have been on backwards that day. (It has been implied by some that Horowitz suffered a severe depression as a result of Steinberg's review. However, as the pianist went into the recording studio five weeks after this concert, and made one of his greatest recordings--Schumann's Kreisleriana--that idea can be safely put to rest.)There are a few bonus items here: a Debussy Serenade from 1933, a radio broadcast of Horowitz promoting United States Defense Bonds from 1951, and an interview before his 1974 recital in Cleveland. Again, there are issues with the recorded sound, except in the Defense Bond broadcast which is better quality."