Can you figure out, what you are going to do, when you become 83 years old? Mr. Horowitz gave a legendary concert in Moscow, playing as beautiful as he maybe never did before. If you are reading this, I am sure you appreciate Horowitz and his music and have already listened to this famous recording. It is just as good as when it was recorded and is one of my favorite for piano music. In the unlikely case you are not familiar with Horowitz in Moscow, this is truly a gem and you should get it. If music can move you, this most certainly will, it is very pleasant.
Composer: Domenico Scarlatti, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sergei Rachmaninov, Alexander Scriabin, Franz Liszt, Frédéric Chopin, Robert Schumann, Moritz Moszkowski
Performer: Vladimir Horowitz
Number of Discs: 1
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 2.29 GB
This recording is among the last that Vladimir Horowitz made. Recorded live at the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow, on April 20, 1986, just three and a half years before the pianist’s death, this is music made at an age well past retirement for most performing artists. To coin a phrase, Age did not wither him, nor custom stale / His infinite variety.
Horowitz was the master of all he touched, even as an octogenarian, as this recording evinces with thirteen selections from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century periods. Horowitz’ style – notably characterized by subtleties in glissandos and impossible power in codas – didn’t change much over the years. Take the Träumerei from Robert Schumann’s Kinderszenen. Listening to that piece here and comparing it to Horowitz’ reading from 1950 on Famous RCA Recordings (which I also reviewed for Amazon), there seems to be as much tenderness and introspective intensity in the later effort, if indeed not more, alongside prominent habits of his father-in-law, Toscanini, one of which was making “Presto!” his mantra. The 1986 Träumerei is 15 seconds shorter than its predecessor, a fairly significant marker since, even at the faster tempo, that piece runs a mere 2 minutes, 38 seconds.
The production of “Horowitz in Moscow” was in the capable hands of DG. Their liner notes (written by the late Charles Kuralt, no less) do justice to the momentous return of Horowitz to the USSR after an absence of 60 years. Russians take their classical music seriously. Some 200 musical students – none with tickets, most of which were reserved for the Soviet nomenklatura – took up positions along walls behind the box seats. At the start of Scriabin’s Etude No. 1 a disruptive noise is apparent: an unavailing confrontation of Russian security forces with the immovable students. I would not have known this without meticulous liner notes; probably I would have assumed it was a defect in the recording. Additionally there are five color plates showing Horowitz with various dignitaries.
At least, I think there is a recording (or vinyl) fault on the last track of side A, Scriabin. Some distortions, audible during the “fortissimo” passages…probably due to the fact, that it’s a live recording. I did my very best to fix it without harming the music.
|A1||Sonata In E Major, K.380 (L.23) (Andante Comodo)
|Piano Sonata In C Major, K.330 (330h)
|A2||1. Allegro Moderato||6:10|
|A3||2. Andante Cantabile||5:58|
|A5||Prelude In G Major, Op.32 No.5 (Moderato)
|A6||Prelude In G Sharp Minor, Op.32 No.12 (Allegro)
|A7||Etude In C Sharp Minor, Op.2 No.1 (Andante)
|A8||Etude In D Sharp Minor, Op.8 No.12 (Patetico)
|B1||Soirées De Vienne: Valse-Caprice No.6 (After: Franz Schubert) (Allegro Con Spirito)
|B2||Sonetto 104 Del Petrarca (From: Années De Pèlerinage, 2éme Année “Italie”) (Agitato Assai – Adagio)
|B3||Mazurka In C Sharp Minor, Op.30 No.4 (Allegretto)
|B4||Mazurka In F Minor, Op.7 No.3
|B5||Träumerei (From: “Kinderszenen”)
|B6||Étincelles, Morceau Caractéristique Op.36 No.6 (Allegro Scherzando)
|B7||Polka De W.R. (Allegretto)
Analyzed folder: /192k Horowitz In Moscow
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR17 -5.88 dB -27.97 dB A1 D. Scarlatti – A1 Sonata In E Major, K.380 (L.23) (Andante Comodo).aif
DR14 -9.17 dB -27.47 dB A2 WAM – Piano Sonata In C Major, K.330 (330h) – 1. Allegro Moderato.aif
DR14 -9.07 dB -28.07 dB A3 WAM – Piano Sonata In C Major, K.330 (330h) – 2. Andante Cantabile.aif
DR14 -4.39 dB -24.31 dB A4 WAM – Piano Sonata In C Major, K.330 (330h) – 3. Allegretto.aif
DR14 -7.85 dB -27.52 dB A5 Rachmaninov – Prelude In G Major, Op.32 No.5 (Moderato).aif
DR14 -1.59 dB -21.08 dB A6 Rachmaninov – Prelude In G Sharp Minor, Op.32 No.12 (Allegro).aif
DR13 -3.52 dB -24.17 dB A7 Scriabin – Etude In C Sharp Minor, Op.2 No.1 (Andante).aif
DR11 -0.71 dB -16.33 dB A8 Scriabin – Etude In D Sharp Minor, Op.8 No.12 (Patetico).aif
DR14 -0.99 dB -20.62 dB B1 Liszt – Soirees De Vienne- Valse-Caprice No.6 (After- Franz Schubert) (Allegro Con Spirito).aif
DR14 -1.94 dB -21.75 dB B2 Liszt – Sonetto 104 Del Petrarca (From- Annees De Pelerinage, 2eme Annee ‘Italie’) (Agitato Assai – Adagio).aif
DR15 -2.65 dB -24.21 dB B3 Chopin – Mazurka In C Sharp Minor, Op.30 No.4 (Allegretto).aif
DR15 -3.28 dB -23.54 dB B4 Chopin – Mazurka In F Minor, Op.7 No.3.aif
DR15 -6.67 dB -28.88 dB B5 Schumann – Traeumerei (From- ‘Kinderszenen’).aif
DR14 -4.24 dB -23.42 dB B6 Moszkowsky – Etincelles, Morceau Caracteristique Op.36 No.6 (Allegro Scherzando).aif
DR15 -0.52 dB -21.54 dB B7 Rachmaninov – Polka De W.R. (Allegretto).aif
Number of files: 15
Official DR value: DR14
Recorded live at the Moscow Conservatory in April 1986.
“Horowitz in Moscow” was televised internationally by Columbia Artists in association with Deutsche Grammophon, who made the recording. The Executive Producer of the telecast was Peter Gelb, the Director was Brian Large.
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
- Phono amp: Audio Research SP15 own tube phono section.
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Audio Research SP15
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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