Chapter 5.2

 5.2 The first RCA period

  The recordings that Horowitz made with RCA from 1928 to 1959 were released on 78, 45, and LP (and later reproduced on CD). There are many LPs especially, including reproductions of 78 and those released simultaneously with 45s. Because LPs had just started to appear in the public at that time, RCA released a lot of LPs of Horowitz in the U.S. and the U.K. as well as in France. A while later the LPs were released under license in the so-called defeated nations: Germany, Italy, and Japan. The jackets for RCA- and HMV-related LPs varied in design depending on the country. The sales of LPs at the time were so small that LPs released during this period are especially attractive and valuable to LP collectors.

  The first LP records of Horowitz that RCA released in the U.S.

   Foreseeing the new age of the record, RCA started to release LPs, although RCA was the company that introduced 45s to market. RCA released many 10-inch LPs probably because they were easy to use on record players that were made for 45s. All of Horowitz’s early LPs released in the U.S., with some exceptions, have record numbers that follow the initial letters “LM.” The first LP of Horowitz that RCA released was probably a 10-inch LP, LM-21. My research has yet to identify the release dates and order of the 10- and 12-inch LPs, which is quite important. These are subjects to be worked on going forward.

      10-inch LPs were released not only in the U.S., but also in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. Photographs of these LPs are shown below. My collection mainly consists of Japanese LPs, of course. At first, 10-inch LPs had a three-digit number and 12-inches had a four-digit number following “LM”; however, 10-inch LPs soon started to have four-digit numbers. Consequently, the record numbers do not afford a clue to identify the chronological order. I assume that 10-inch American LPs were released in the 1950s. Some of the American 12-inch LPs were reproduced in Japan as 10-inch LPs. As far as I remember, Japanese 10- and 12-inch LPs cost about 1,000 yen and 1,500 yen, respectively, and imported LPs cost about 2,500 yen in those days. In the U.K., there are 10-inch LPs with identical numbers but they are covered with jackets that are different in design. There are also 7-inch LPs. Such LPs (played at 33 1/3 rpm), whose size is the same as that of 45s, were released in Japan to reduce the price; they cost 500 yen.


         RCA 10inch LP 


           7 inch LP 


      12-inch LPs released by RCA in the U.S.

  A total of 30 LPs can be considered as first pressings (29 12-inch LPs and one 10-inch LP). The LPs include two sets of double albums; thus, there are only 28 photographs below, which will be identified in the following A to Y in this paragraph. The record numbers included in each LP are listed in the Appendix III.17. 


          RCA The First Period   


These photographs are also provided in the supplement of this book, “The photographic collection of important and fundamental LPs”.

 There are six pairs of LPs that have an identical number, but a different design on the jackets: LM-1171, LM-1178, LM-1235, LM-1718, LM-2366, and LD-7021. The LP that is released later than the other one in the pair is shown in the photographs below. The photograph on the jacket of LM-2137 was taken by Horowitz’s daughter Sonia, who was a photographer. This photograph appears on some of the other LPs. There are many sets of identically numbered LPs that differ slightly in terms of the jacket—some have a record number in the bottom left corner, but some do not—so, only representative LPs are shown here. All the identically numbered LPs that have quite different designs on the jackets are included in the photographs.


A           LM-1014             Pictures at an Exhibition

 LM-1016             Prokofiev Sonata No. 7 and Kabalevsky Sonata No. 3

 LM-1027             Beethoven Moonlight Sonata and Mozart Sonata K.332

                                         These LPs are re-releases of 78s.

B            LM-1109             Kinderscene Op.15 and Chopin 7 Mazurkas

               LM-1113             Chopin Sonata No. 2

 These LPs were released for the first time. 78s and 45s were released for the first time as well.

C            LCT-1012            Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with Toscanini

  78s were simultaneously released by HMV and RCA. RCA released 45s as well. 

D           LM-1137              Chopin

                                           This LP is a re-release of the 78.

E            LM-106               Brahms Violin Sonata No. 3 with N. Milstein

               This is a 10-inch LP released for the first time. 45s were also released. 

F             LCT-1025            Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with Toscanini

               This LP is a re-release of the 78. 45s were released simultaneously with LPs. 

G            LM-1171              Horowitz Encores

                  Bizet, Mussorgsky, Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Debussy, Prokofiev

 Nearly all the recordings on this LP were originally released on 78, except for Schumann’s Träumerei (Dreaming), which was played on November 27, 1947. Träumerei was released for the first time. 45s were released for the first time as well. The photograph below is of a re-release of this LP with a jacket in a different design. And LM-1178, LM-1718, LM-1235 are same also.




H           LM-1178              Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 with Reiner

This LP was recorded in 1951 at Carnegie Hall and released for the first time. 45s were released simultaneously. The image shows a new jacket made for the re-released LP.




I             LM-1235             Chopin-Liszt

Chopin’s Sonata on this LP was originally released on LM-1113. The other recordings had been released on 78 and 45 before. The image shows a new jacket made for the re-released LP.




J            LM-1718             Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 Emperor with Reiner

 This LP was released for the first time. 45s were released as well, but not 78s. The image shows a new jacket made for the re-released LP.




K           LM-1707             Chopin

All the recordings on this LP were released for the first time. 45s were released as well. Impromptu No. 10 had already been recorded by HMV and released on 78. Ballade No. 3 was probably recorded on May 9, 1949. (The recording date is not noted on the LP, but the liner notes of “The Original Jacket Collection” released in 2009 mention that the recording took place on May 9, not May 11). If so, Ballade No. 3 was released for the first time on this LP. 

 L          LM-9021             Mendelssohn and Liszt

All the pieces by Mendelssohn on this LP had been released on 78, but four pieces by Liszt were released for the first time. The pieces by Mendelssohn had also been released on 45. The pieces of Liszt were released on 45 simultaneously with this LP.

M           LM-6014 (2LPs)    25th Anniversary of Horowitz’s American Debut 

This LP was released for the first time. 45s were also released. This is a recording of the concert on February 25, 1953 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Horowitz’s American debut. The opus number of Scriabin is incorrectly written as Etude 8-7 on the jacket. The correct number is 8-11. LPs released in Japan and early CDs also have the incorrect title, 8-7. “The Original Jacket Collection” released in 2009 has the correct title.  

N           LM-1902             Clementi

This LP was released for the first time. Neither a 78 nor a 45 were released. Around 1954 Horowitz had been absorbed in the music of Clementi, which he discovered while in Italy. 

O           LM-2005             Scriabin

This LP was released for the first time. There is no 45. The photograph of LM-2005 released in Canada is also shown below.




P           LM-2009             Beethoven Moonlight and Waldstein Sonatas

                This LP was released for the first time. There is no 45. 

Q           LM-1957             Horowitz in Recital

                 This LP was released for the first time. There is no 45.  

R            LM-2137             Chopin       

      This LP was released for the first time. There is no 45. 

S            LM-2319             HOROWITZ/TOSCANINI Tchaikovsky Piano Con. No. 1 

This performance was recorded in 1943 but was released for the first time on this LP. There is  no 78 or 45. 

T            LM-2357             Pictures at an Exhibition

        This LP was released for the first time. There is no 45.  

U           LM-2366, LSC-2366         Beethoven Appassionata and Sonata Op. 10-3

                    This LP was released for the first time by Living Stereo (practically by RCA) and RCA. 


            LM-2366, LSC-2366 


V            LD-7021(2LP)     THE HOROWITZ COLLECTION

This record box named The Horowitz Collection in Music and Art consists of the copies of paintings that Horowitz owned at that time and the recordings of his performances. This is a part of the Gala Soria Series produced by RCA Victor. The paintings that Horowitz owned were by Picasso, Manet, Rouault, and Degas and full-color copies of the works by those artists are included in this record box. The paintings decorated his living room. The recordings include re-releases as well as first recordings of a variety of music: Czerny’s La Ricordanza released on 78, Mozart’s Sonata K.332 released on 78 and 45, Clementi’s Rondo released for the first time, Schumann’s Variations on a Theme by Clara Wieck released for the first time, Mendelssohn and Chopin released on 78 and 45, Scriabin released on 45, Moszkowski released for the first time, and Saint-Saëns released on 78. The photographs of the major paintings that were owned by Horowitz and decorated his house as well as the photographs of the jackets that were used for the re-releases are shown here. The photographs of the paintings were taken from an information booklet included in the record box. 


             Tow LD-7021Blue and Black+3 pictures


W           LM-2993             The Young Horowitz

All the recordings had been released on 78 before. Also, Kabalevsky’s Sonata No. 3, Scarlatti’s Sonata K.20 (L.375), Chopin’s Mazurka Op. 30-4, Liszt’s Etude No. 2, Debussy’s Serenade to the Doll, Chopin’s Waltz Op. 64-2, and Dohnanyi’s Capriccio had been released on 45 before.  

X            VICTROLA VIC-1605      The Great Horowitz plays Favorite Chopin

Only Nocturne Op. 9-2, was released for the first time. The other recordings had been released on 45 or 78 in the past or were released simultaneously with this LP.  

Y            VICTROLA VICS-1649     Great Romantic Piano Favorites

These LPs released in 1972 were noted with date of the recordings. However, some of the dates seem incorrect. The date on the record of Liszt’s Valse Oubliée No. 1 reads 12/29/50. No recording took place on the date, but a recording did take place on the 27th. If “27” were the correct date then this LP would be the first release. Nevertheless, The Original Jacket Collection, a CD box released by SONY in 2009, also has a recording date that reads April 28, 1951, which seems the most reliable. Moreover, the recording date of Brahms’ Intermezzo Op. 117-2 noted on the record is 12/22/55. The recording did not take place on the date, but on April 23, 1951. The correct date can be found in The Original Jacket Collection.

Two recordings out of the 12 (Liszt’s Valse Oubliée No. 1 and Funerailles) had already been released on 45 and were re-released for the first time on this LP. Three other recordings (Schubert’s Impromptu, Brahms’ Intermezzo and Schumann’s Träumerei) had not been released on 45 and were thus released on this LP for the first time. 

 Other LPs related to the first RCA period 

The previous paragraph provided photographs of LP jackets taken from The Original Jacket Collection. However, RCA released more LPs than the ones above. Images of their jackets are provided in the paragraphs below. 


           RCA 60 years and 2 LPs


The upper left image is of an LP released by Eldridge R. Johnson, who founded the Victor Talking Machine Corporation (former RCA), in 1961. It marked the 60th anniversary of the corporation and contained performances by various musicians that had been released over the past 60 years including those by Horowitz. The LP is named Showcase in Sound and was made for a sales promotion. Two performances by Horowitz—Prelude Op.11-13 and Op.15-2 by Scriabin—are included in the LP.

The following are the images of the LPs released by RCA up until the first half of the 1970s.  


                    RCA 6 LPs


               LPs from the Horowitz Collection that were released after 1975 in the first RCA period 

 Horowitz signed with RCA for the second time in 1975. During this period, RCA started to release recordings that had been recorded in the first RCA period as the ARM1 series. The following images are of the LPs of the ARM1 series and those related to the series.


         RCA  ARM1 LPs 


        5.2.2    12-inch LPs released in the first RCA period in other countries 

 The following are images of valuable LPs released around the world, mainly in the U.K. (B stands for the U.K., F is for France, D is for Germany, I is for Italy, H is for the Netherlands.) 10-inch LPs are not included here (see for 10-inch LPs).   

A      12-inch LPs released in the U.K. in the first RCA period


          HMV UK 


B       LPs released in Germany in the first RCA period

In Germany, a 20-LP set named the VH series, was released. Only the image of VH001 is shown below because the same jacket was used for all the LPs in this series.




C             LPs released in France in the first RCA period




D               LPs released in Italy in the first RCA period




E               LPs released in other countries in the first RCA period

   These are images of the LPs released in Brazil.


      Spain and Brazil  


       5.2.3      LPs released in Japan in the first RCA period

In Japan, recordings by RCA started to appear probably from the 1950s onward. 


      Complete sets of Horowitz

After 1962, complete sets containing all the recordings of Horowitz were released four times. There is no country in the world that produced complete sets of Horowitz so many times. The A series made up of five LP sets (18 LPs)

This is an LP box set released in 1962 that consists of five sets of LP. A steel record cabinet came with the box. The LPs were not sold separately.

The first set (2 LPs): HOROWITZ 25th Anniversary of His American Debut

The second set (4 LPs): HOROWITZ plays Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Mendelssohn and Mozart

The third set (4 LPs): HOROWITZ plays Beethoven and Brahms

The fourth set (4 LPs): HOROWITZ plays Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Mussorgsky, Clementi and Liszt

The fifth set (4 LPs): VLADIMIR HOROWITZ, Piano


        5 LP-BOXs 

 The VRA series The Art of Horowitz: 18 LPs with an extra LP (AX-14)

 This series was released in the second half of the 1960s. The LPs were not released as a set; they were sold separately. They sold well and were re-released with the same record numbers and jackets whose printing tones were different from those of the first pressings. Images of the VRA series, and the extra LP, are shown below; all the VRA series have a uniform design but with different titles on the front side of the jackets.

  In the same period, the LP series of Toscanini was also released. The ninth volume of the set is Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 played by Horowitz and Toscanini.   


          RCA Japan  VRA  


   The SRA series The Art of Horowitz: Two volumes, 20 LPs in total, with bonus LPs, AX 35 and 36

This is a 20-LP set placed in two boxes. The LPs were not sold separately.


       RCA Japan 2 SRA BOXs + AX36+Toscanini LP 

        AX35 has not been added to my collection

  RVC series: 21 LPs and a four-LP set of Chopin numbers

These LPs were released from 1976 to 1977 and sold separately. All 21 LPs look the same, so only one LP is shown below.


                         RCA Japan RVC LPs+ Chopin albumn
  LPs to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Victor Company of Japan and the 100th anniversary of the inventions produced by Edison

In 1967 the Victor Company of Japan celebrated its 40th anniversary and released some projects related to Horowitz. The LP on the left, “Music Live Forever,” contains popular music and traditional Japanese music as well as Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14, popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata.


         Japn Victor (1967)



1977 marked the 100th year since Edison invented the “Talking Machine.” RCA released a two-LP box set to celebrate this achievement (see photograph on the right).

This LP box set includes only one performance of Horowitz, a piece from Liszt’s Grandes études de Paganini. Not only classical music, but also songs by Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley are in this LP set, which represents the history of the recording and playing of music. Other RCA records


          Other RCA  Japan LPs  


The above three images are of the LPs of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 Emperor. The two LPs on the right have an identical record number but the jackets are different in design.