Piano Concerto No. 3 [43.15]
Piano Sonata No. 2
Vladimir Horowitz (piano)
New York PO/Eugene Ormandy
Concerto rec 8 Jan 1978 Carnegie Hall
Sonata rec April/May 1980 Carnegie
RCA RED SEAL
A big and bold sound from this disc conspires with the music to make the
effect extremely assertive. Depending on your taste that power is also the
vulnerability of the recording. It is so upfront that it can be tiring.
In 1978 Horowitz had returned to the NYPO for the concert that celebrated
his Fiftieth Anniversary. The broadcast was carried live in many countries
including the UK and I taped it then. Horowitz accents and adds emphasis
like the consummate magus he was (he died in 1989). He can play quietly but
such is his approach (accentuated by the miking) that even the quiet playing
is quite forward. The piano work, while phenomenal, lacks the vusceral panache
of Argerich (Philips). The technical deftness and the emotional presence
of Earl Wild (Chandos Enchant and Chesky) is not matched and yet there remains
a sense of confident mastery that impresses mightily. Interpretatively speaking,
Horowitz does not trounce his own earlier recordings with Coates and Reiner
but with those you have to labour with far from ideal sound.
Horowitz's version of the Second Sonata has all the grandeur and sweep you
could ask for. I have the impression that Horowitz was in even better pianistic
form for the Sonata than for the concerto.
Very full documentation.