Many thanks Trottar for this beautiful rarity
Incredible: what you are listening to is the perfect playing of a 95 years old grandmaster.
Mieczyslaw Horszowski lived to the age of 101 and enjoyed the longest career in the history of the performing arts. He never achieved, or aspired to, the notoriety of his friends Arthur Rubinstein and Vladimir Horowitz. But in his last decade, he became something of a cult figure, his performances and recordings sought out by those curious about this last link to the Golden Age of Piano Playing, and those simply wondering whether someone so elderly could still move his fingers.
Composer: Frédéric Chopin, Robert Schumann, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Mieczyslaw Horszowski
Number of Discs: 1
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 1.35 GB
On the backside cover of this record’s notes an eleven year old Miecio Horszowski sits straddling an Italian Renaissance chair, his light brown hair done up in a Buster Brown cut, a dark velvet jacket opening on a white vest shirt. It’s an advertisement for his “Second Piano Recital”, May 18th, 1906 at Steinway Hall, London. But in fact, the young prodigy had appeared several years earlier, giving his first public recitals in Vienna in 1902 while a pupil of probably the most legendary piano teacher of the turn of the century, Theodor Leschetitzky.
Zoom forward to nearly the end of the 20th Century. It’s now May 10th, 1988. A great, great deal has passed in the interim. The young boy is now a very old man of 95, sitting before a piano inside a small auditorium of Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, reminiscing. He recalls giving the premiere of Beethoven’s Hammerklavier in Rio De Janeiro in a concert sponsored by the composer Villa-Lobos. “In the audience was the pianist who played the first New York performance of the Waldstein Sonata, in the 1880’s when he was perhaps 20 years old. Arthur Napoleon was his name. He was quite a good pianist. We played two pianos together – the beautiful Saint-Saens Variations on a Theme by Beethoven.”
Horszowski then talks about Schumann’s Kinderszenen – “They are Scenes from Childhood as experienced in childhood – not by an adult remembering.” There follows an entire paragraph of his thoughts on the music filling up half a page of notes.
Listening to Horszowski is not so much a privlege as an honor. It is also a rare treat, and a complete joy. His playing is gentle but rarely slack, despite nearly a century of life he still finds a way to sparkle, and phrases with distinction. Quieter passages maintain charm, an enviable feat at any age. The Chopin playing, disarms by its simplicity, perhaps not surprising as his mother studied under Chopin’s pupil Karl Mikuli. The Schumann, if certainly not overly boisterous, contains a myriad of little touches of fun and frolic and imagination. This sort of music-making is a gift, and should be treasured.
The Mozart is played with intelligence, poise, and that ineffable charm he bestows on the Romantic composers. Again, it’s miraculous to find such quality of playing united with such a full lifetime.
A special and charming record, and one not only for the connosieur and collector of esoteria, but the average music lover. In the end, you listen to the music-making, and forget the fact Horszowski was approaching one hundred when he sat down before the keyboard.
|A1||Mozart – Sonata In D Major, K. 576: I. Allegro||5:09|
|A2||Mozart – Sonata In D Major, K. 576: II. Adagio||5:04|
|A3||Mozart – Sonata In D Major, K. 576: III. Allegretto||4:19|
|A4||Mozart – Sonata In F Major, K. 332: I. Allegro||7:11|
|A5||Mozart – Sonata In F Major, K. 332: II. Adagio||4:44|
|A6||Mozart – Sonata In F Major, K. 332: III. Allegro Assai||6:55|
|B1||Chopin – Mazurka In G Major, Op. 24, No. 2||2:07|
|B2||Chopin – Nocturne In B-Flat Minor, Op. 9, No. 1||5:55|
|B3||Chopin – Mazurka In B Minor, Op. 33, No. 4||5:13|
|B4||Schumann – Arabeske, Op. 18||6:05|
|B5||Schumann – Kinderszenen, Op. 15||16:16|
Analyzed folder: /96k WAM, Chopin, Schumann – Mieczyslaw Horszowski
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR12 -3.33 dB -19.40 dB A1 Mozart – Sonata In D Major, K. 576- I. Allegro.aif
DR13 -6.74 dB -24.88 dB A2 Mozart – Sonata In D Major, K. 576- II. Adagio.aif
DR12 -3.36 dB -19.59 dB A3 Mozart – Sonata In D Major, K. 576- III. Allegretto.aif
DR14 -1.73 dB -20.56 dB A4 Mozart – Sonata In F Major, K. 332- I. Allegro.aif
DR14 -5.81 dB -24.75 dB A5 Mozart – Sonata In F Major, K. 332- II. Adagio.aif
DR14 -1.25 dB -19.71 dB A6 Mozart – Sonata In F Major, K. 332- III. Allegro Assai.aif
DR13 -2.12 dB -21.27 dB B1 Chopin – Mazurka In G Major, Op. 24, No. 2.aif
DR14 -2.99 dB -22.43 dB B2 Chopin – Nocturne In B-Flat Minor, Op. 9, No. 1.aif
DR13 -0.81 dB -20.21 dB B3 Chopin – Mazurka In B Minor, Op. 33, No. 4.aif
DR13 -1.54 dB -21.28 dB B4 Schumann – Arabeske, Op. 18.aif
DR15 -1.52 dB -22.38 dB B5 Schumann – Kinderszenen, Op. 15.aif
Number of files: 11
Official DR value: DR13
- Soloist – Mieczyslaw Horszowski
- Art Direction – Henrietta Condak
- Composed By – Frédéric Chopin (tracks: B1-B3), Robert Schumann (tracks: B4-B5), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (tracks: A1-A6)
- Liner Notes – Joseph Horowitz
- Photography By – Lauren Piperno
- Producer – Max Wilcox
- 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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