Here is the "essential" playing of Vladimir Horowitz at his peak in live recordings from concerts in 1943 and 1951. First, there is the historic war bond concert in 1943, when Toscanini conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra in an all-Tchaikovsky program that included the "Nutrcracker Suite No. 1," the sixth symphony, and his first piano concerto. Joining Toscanini and the NBCSO in the concerto was Horowitz in a performance that exceeds the studio recording of 1941. This is electric, dazzling playing and Toscanini provides superb orchestral backing. The powerful orchestral interlude in the first movement has seldom sounded more dramatic and exciting. There is also great sensitivity in the serene second movement; there is only a brief section where Horowitz and the orchestra get a bit off-kilter. The final movement is absolutely dazzling. No wonder the Carnegie Hall audience stood and cheered. Horowitz did his own arrangement of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." It...
Horowitz is amazing as we have all come to expect, but at the time that Mussorgsky's PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION was recorded, recording techiniques had not been perfected as they have today. The rest of the CD is outstanding. If you are a Horowitz fan, I highly recommend this recording.
A very good CD, but some of the titles are also on the Encores CD, and all the titles except the Rachmaninoff (recorded in 1979) are in mono. Besides the Rachmaninoff, the recording dates range from 1928 (whew!) to 1956. That said, this is Horowitz! It's great! I'd pay the money for the Prokofiev and Danse Excentrique alone. I just want to warn you that this is not the crystal-clear CD sound we're used to.
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