Wednesday’s Artist: Vladimir Horowitz The Russian Pianist

This Wednesday’s artist is Vladimir Horowitz ( September 18th, 1903 - November 5th, 1989) who was a great pianist and composer from Russia, though he spent most of his life in the United States.


Every Wednesday of the week, Tunitemusic introduces a new artist and their works. These artists have been chosen regardless of their musical genre.


Horowitz is widely regarded as the greatest pianist of all time, he is known for his technical virtuosity and the excitement that he would creat by his piano playing. He is best known for his performances of the Romantic era piano pieces. His recording of Liszt Sonata in 1932 is considered to be the definitive reading of the piece.


During the Second World War, Horowitz championed contemporary Russian music by performing their American premieres. Prokoviev’s Piano Sonatas Nos. 6, 7 and 8 and Kabalevsky’s Piano Sonatas Nos. 2 and 3, are among those pieces.


Horowitz’s versions of several Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies are among his best-appreciated works. According to himself, these pieces were the most difficult of his arrangements.


Vladimir Horowitz’s style of piano playing involved vast dynamic contrasts, a style that is believed to be established by Ludwig Van Beethoven first. But the social situation and also bigger and better pianos of Horowitz’s time made him able to express this contrasts more deeply and more effectively on the audience. His playing consisted lot’s of double fortissimos followed immediately by sudden soft pianissimos.


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He was able to produce an extraordinary volume of sound on his piano, without making it a harsh tone. It means everybody can hammer their hands on the piano clavier, or push them softly, but to play them with the same volume and still keeping them interacted with each other in one piece, is not an easy thing to do. Hammering your fingers on the claviers while keeping it melodic and smooth, takes a lot of time to master, and not many people in the world can play it as Horowitz would do.


Horowitz elicited an exceptionally wide range of tonal color, and his taut, precise attack was noticeable even in his renditions of technically undemanding pieces such as the Chopin Mazurkas. He is known for his octave technique; he could play precise passages in octaves extraordinarily fast.


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Discography:


  • 1982: Horowitz At the Met

  • 1983: Horowitz in London

  • 1985: Vladimir Horowitz – The Last Romantic

  • 1986: The Studio Recordings, New York

  • 1986: Horowitz in Moscow

  • 1987: Horowitz Plays Mozart

  • 1987: Horowitz Plays Liszt

  • 1989: Horowitz At Home

  • 1989: Horowitz Plays Rachmaninoff

  • 1989: Horowitz Plays Clementi

  • 1989: Horowitz Plays Scriabin

  • 1989: Horowitz Plays Schumann

  • 1989: Horowitz In Concert 1967–1968

  • 1989: Mozart: Piano Sonatas

  • 1990: Horowitz Plays Brahms & Beethoven

  • 1990: Horowitz Plays Prokofiev, Barber & Kabalevsky Sonatas

  • 1990: Horowitz Plays Beethoven Sonatas

  • 1990: Horowitz Plays Tchaikovsky: Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven: Concerto No. 5 "Emperor"

  • 1990: Horowitz – The Last Recording

  • 1990: Horowitz Plays Chopin, Vol. 1

  • 1990: Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition and Tchaikovsky: Concerto No. 1

  • 1991: Horowitz The Poet

  • 1991: Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2

  • 1991: Horowitz Plays Chopin, Vol. 2

  • 1991: Schubert: Sonata in B-flat and Mozart: Sonata in F

  • 1992: Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

  • 1992: Schumann: Kinderszenen, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy

  • 1992: Discovered Treasures

  • 1993: Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. 3

  • 1993: Horowitz Plays Chopin, Vol. 3

  • 1993: Horowitz Plays Beethoven, Scarlatti, Chopin

  • 1993: The Complete Masterworks Recordings, Vol. 1: The Studio Recordings 1962–1963

  • 1993: The Complete Masterworks Recordings, Vol. 2: The Celebrated Scarlatti Recordings

  • 1993: The Complete Masterworks Recordings, Vol. 3: The Historic Return

  • 1993: The Complete Masterworks Recordings, Vol. 4: The Legendary 1968 TV Concert

  • 1993: The Complete Masterworks Recordings, Vol. 5: A Baroque & Classical Recital

  • 1993: The Complete Masterworks Recordings, Vol. 6: Beethoven

  • 1993: The Complete Masterworks Recordings, Vol. 7: Early Romantics

  • 1993: The Complete Masterworks Recordings, Vol. 8: The Romantic & Impressionist Era

  • 1993: The Complete Masterworks Recordings, Vol. 9: Late Russian Romantics

  • 1994: The Private Collection Vol. 1

  • 1995: The Private Collection Vol. 2

  • 1997: Vladimir Horowitz, Solo Recordings 1928–1936

  • 1999: Beethoven Sonatas

  • 2001: Chopin: Piano Music

  • 2003: The Boston Recital

  • 2003: Horowitz reDiscovered

  • 2003: Horowitz Live and Unedited – The Historic 1965 Carnegie Hall Return Concert

  • 2008: Horowitz in Hamburg – The Last Concert

  • 2009: Vladimir Horowitz At Carnegie Hall – The Private Collection: Mussorgsky & Liszt

  • 2009: Vladimir Horowitz At Carnegie Hall – The Private Collection: Schumann, Chopin, Liszt & Balakirev

  • 2009: The Welte Mignon Mystery Vol. XI – Vladimir Horowitz today playing all his 1926 interpretations

  • 2010: Vladimir Horowitz At Carnegie Hall – The Private Collection: Haydn & Beethoven

  • 2010: Horowitz – The Legendary Berlin Concert


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