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Horowitz Plays Tchaikovsky & Rachmaninoff
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Essential. A bit of history.
offeck | New York, NY -- United States of America | 11/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1928, Sergei Rachmaninov, referring to his concerto in D minor as a `piece for elephants,' retired it from his repertoire after hearing Horowitz `swallow it whole, pouncing on it with the voraciousness of a tiger.' In 1941, after attending the performance on this disc, Rachmaninov marched from his back-row seat to the stage to hold Horowitz's hand, proclaiming `This is the way I have always dreamed my Concerto should be played, but I never expected to hear it this way on Earth!' Horowitz later recalled this to be the greatest moment of his life. In 1945, the same forces came together in the Tchaikovsky concerto in B flat major. In very familiar territory, Horowitz-despite multiple flaws in orchestral accompaniment, which might actually be the recording-delivers probably the most sensitive, ravishing, and pulverizing performance on record."
Keenan A. Reesor | Los Angeles, CA | 05/30/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"...These concertos were recorded in 1950 and 1951--several years after Rachmaninov's death. This CD goes to show that when an artist is recorded as much as Horowitz was, there are bound to be "bad days." The performances are not good. Granted, it is Horowitz, but he sounds nervous, and the collaboration with each conductor does not run smoothly. One can feel the clash as they listen to these recordings. In fact, in the Development of the first movement of the Rachmaninov, at a climactic point nonetheless, Horowitz and the Orchestra become seperated by an eigth note, and continue to play over each other for 8 bars. Horowitz' earlier recordings of the Rachmaninov are both better--1930 with Albert Coates, and 1941 with Sir John Barbirolli. His 1952 recording is also representative of what Horowitz has to say about this concerto. Go elsewhere. As for the Tchaikovsky--not particularly accurate, and sounds nervous. In addition to these rocky performances, the engineering sounds very unbalanced and artificial. So, if you are concerned with owning all of Horowitz' performances of these works, then maybe you should get it. Just know that these are definitely not his best recorded performances of these works."