5.3 Columbia, CBS, and SONY Classical

 Horowitz was signed to Columbia in 1962 and released new recordings on 14 different kinds of LP (16 LPs in total) before the termination of the contract in 1975. Among these releases, the historic return concert in 1965 and concerts given in 1966 were released on gatefold double albums. The last two of the 16 LPs, three Beethoven Sonatas and encores, are re-releases, so 14 of the 16 LPs were released for the first time. The following photographs are of the 14 LPs, which are also provided in the supplement of this book, The photographic collection of important and fundamental LPs.

  The 7-inch LP, which is the same size as the 45, was used to provide an LP at a moderate price in Japan (500 yen). An image of a 7-inch LP is included in the photographs below, although the 7-inch LP is not a mainstream product of Columbia. Descriptions of each of the 12-inch LPs are given in the following. It is likely that Columbia never released a 10-inch LP in Europe or in America.



5.3.1 LPs of new recordings

The LPs of new recordings released globally basically contained the same music and used the same design on their jackets, but when they were re-released in France, Germany, and Italy a new jacket design was occasionally used. In Japan, some double albums were re-released as separate albums.   

 In the U.S. LPs were re-released without changing the record numbers or jacket designs, whereas in Japan even when jacket designs remained the same, the LPs were numbered anew. However, there were some occasions where the LPs that sold well in Japan were re-released without changing the record numbers. Around 1962, stereo LPs started to appear. So, two types of LPs with identical jackets were released for some time in the U.S. and the U.K. Initials such as KL- (or ML-) and KS- (or MS-) preceded the record number to identify which system the LP could be played on. If the initials included an S this denoted that the LP was a Stereo LP. The annotations (A), (B), and so forth given to the photographs below correspond to the 14 LPs, A to N, which are described in the following paragraphs. 


      Columbia LP  14 Photos


In the 60s, Horowitz’s 1965 return concert at Carnegie Hall and the recording of the 1968 Horowitz on TV performance contributed greatly to increasing his fan base. After those events, as if to ride on the much-loved pianist’s popularity, many record companies around the world started to re-release Horowitz’s LPs and LP box sets.

In 1976 Columbia recorded a concert to celebrate the 85th Anniversary of Carnegie Hall. The concert was planned by Isaac Stern, then president of Carnegie Hall, and was given to raise funds to renovate the hall. Horowitz did not have a single solo piece in the concert. Except for piano concertos, Brahms’ Violin Sonata played with Milstein was the only recording he had made with other musicians before the concert. Therefore, the recording with Stern, Rostropovich, Fischer-Dieskau was so rare and valuable. Horowitz sang Hallelujah from Handel’s Messiah with the other musicians at the end of the concert. Although his voice cannot be heard in the recording, some discographies name Horowitz as one of the performers. An LP box set contained a copy of the concert program, whose front cover is shown in one of the photographs below. The LP was released globally, and the photographs shown below are of the LPs that were released in the U.S., Japan, Germany, and Spain. Both the front and back covers of the German and Spanish LPs are the same in design, so only the back cover of the Spanish LP is shown.


       85th Aniv. Of Carnegie Hall 5 Photos


  The 14 LPs (A to N) released in the U.S., whose jackets are shown above in the order in which they were released, are all first pressings. The numbers recorded on each LP are listed in Appendix III.17. In the U.S. the record number remains the same when an LP is re-released, but this is not the case in Japan. The following section A provides images of all the kinds of jackets to show the small differences between them. The images in section B onward show all the American first pressings, but only the interesting jackets of the English, German, French, and Japanese LPs are shown. In Japan when an LP is re-released, a new record number is given to the LP. Figure 7 shows the re-releases with their new record numbers and release dates corresponding to the original LPs (A to N). This figure shows that a large number of LPs of Horowitz were released in Japan. In addition, in the explanation below, an asterisk is placed next to the titles of those LPs that received a Grammy Award.



A. The first LP released by Columbia * Record number KL-5771, KS-6371

Two types of LP were released to support both stereo and monaural systems because the stereo player started to spread during this period while the monaural player was still widely used. The annotation KL is for a monaural system and KS is for a stereo system. Although these LPs have different record numbers, they have the same design on the front and back covers of the jackets. Moreover, the musical numbers recorded on them are the same. An image of the American first pressing has already been shown above, so LPs released in countries other than the U.S. are shown in the photographs below. These plentiful photographs display that there were many LPs with little difference between them. Each of the LPs covered in section B onward also come in a variety of designs, but their photographs are omitted. However, the photographs of all the LPs are presented in this section. The American first pressing had photographs of Horowitz’s family including his parents, Milstein, Toscanini, Walter, Rachmaninoff and Disney, among others. His daughter Sonia was also in the photographs, as shown below. This LP received a Grammy Award.


              A  10 Photos


A-1. In Japan, A was re-released several times. This paragraph provides details on these re-releases including the intervals between them. (Note that monaural LPs were not released in Japan in the first place.) The jacket designs of the re-released LPs remained the same, but each time the LPs were re-released they were numbered anew. In 1963 this LP was first released by Nippon Columbia. Later, CBS Sony took over and repeatedly re-released it in 1969, 1973, 1975, 1978 and 1982. The back covers of some LPs vary somewhat in design so both the front and back covers are shown below. The LPs covered under section B onward were re-released at similar intervals with different record numbers (see Figure 7). The photographs of the re-released LPs are omitted to save space. Please take A-1 as the model for other LPs. The age of the CD began in 1985 and no LP has been released since then in Japan.


A-1  12Protos


In 2019, Vinyl Passion Classical released one LP. This LP is same as above.

VPC85071-2019-EU  Front and Back covers



 Issued in 1963, this LP also received a Grammy Award. A photograph of the American first pressing has already been shown and is also included in the supplement, “The photographic collections” (likewise, for the LPs covered in section C onward). So the photographs of LPs released in the U.K. and of the first pressing in Japan are shown here. Other LPs look almost the same as those illustrated in A and A-1, so the photographs are omitted here. The image on the left is of the back cover of a monaural ML-5811 LP released in the U.S., and those on the right are LPs released in the U.K. and Japan. 


     B  4 Photos



  This LP was released in the U.S. in 1963, and in the U.K. and Japan in 1964. The LP released in Japan by Nippon Columbia as DX-2-C came with a strongly made jacket bound in linen, which contained only one LP. Inside the jacket, there are two inner covers (like 78s), one of which covers an explanation booklet. This sumptuously covered LP is even placed in a paper cover. There is no doubt that this Horowitz LP was exceptional. Apparently this LP was specially made because the LPs released earlier (A and B above) had received great acclaim. However, Horowitz had not made his historical comeback at this point. As the jackets of monaural LPs and stereo LPs are basically the same in design, the former photos are not shown hereafter. An LP released in China is shown here. This would have been a reproduction of the Japanese LP. The American LPs that were released do not bear the title The Art of Horowitz, but Japanese LPs released by Nippon Columbia have this title. It is not likely that the LPs in China were released under license. Nippon Columbia probably got permission to import recordings from the U.S. to re-release only in Japan. So, those released in China would have been pirated LPs. They would have been manufactured in China in the 1970s. There is no reason to defend pirate reproductions; however, those low-priced pirated LPs would have greatly supported pianists in China. In later years, China produced Lang Lang, Yundi Li, and Yuja Wan. The first pressing of the LP released in the U.S. has already been shown.


         C 8 Photos



  An LP of Horowitz playing Scarlatti was released in the U.S. in 1964. It became very popular and many LPs were released globally. In the U.S. and the U.K. both monaural and stereo LPs were released with almost the same jackets. The photographs of the first pressings in Germany, France, and Japan are provided here. 


      D 5 Photos


E. An Historic Return HOROWITZ at Carnegie Hall* (2 LPs) M2S-728, M2L-328 

 This recital changed Horowitz from being “a pianist of the past” to being “a modern performer.” After 1962 he released four LPs on Columbia and all of them received Grammy Awards, which raised expectations about him. Many people lined up all night for tickets in cold New York City to see this live performance by Horowitz who had not appeared on stage for 12 years. When it comes to Horowitz, this story is always talked about as if it were a myth of modern times. The film footage that shows Horowitz’s performance in the recital and the people queuing in line to be part of the audience was included in a video recorded to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Carnegie Hall, which also contains many performances (including jazz) that were given in the hall. This event was unforgettable in the history of Carnegie Hall. The front covers as well as some inside pages of the first pressings released in the U.K., Germany, France, and Japan are shown here. The German and French jackets have back covers whose design is the same as that of the front covers of LPs released in the other countries. At that time, each country still would have had discretion in the design of the jackets.


         E An Historic Return 


F. HOROWITZ IN CONCERT 1966* (2 LPs) M2L357, M2S757 

This LP includes the best parts of two recitals given on April 17 and November 27 as well as on December 10, 1966 (same program). This was originally released as a double album, but in Japan the two LPs were released separately and in the U.K. a selection from the LPs was released on one LP. After this LP, the seller changed from Nippon Columbia to CBS Sony in Japan.

 The photographs below include one of a first pressing in Japan, the single LP in the U.K., and the LPs released separately as Vols. 1 and 2. These volumes would not have released simultaneously because they have different prices, 2,300 yen and 2,500 yen. And LPs of Vol. 1 were recalled and re-released immediately because they were misprinted as Vol. 2. The first pressing in Japan has a booklet that includes a photograph of Horowitz entering Carnegie Hall on May 9, 1965. A photograph of it is shown below. The back cover of the LP released in the U.S., which is also shown below, had a photograph of Horowitz’s pet dog looking upward. Some LPs have a photograph of the dog looking down (the image is provided later.)


      F-  7 Photos



 This is the legendary recording of the TV program of CBS. It was broadcast on September 22, 1968. Why did Horowitz perform in the TV program? He answered: “I do not have strength to continue my journey anymore. I want to try advanced technology through a performance in a TV program to deliver my performance to many people. I will play for the program if that make sense. It will be my great pleasure if the performance on TV attract some viewers.” He did a test performance on January 2, 1968, which he was pleased with, then filmed the program on February 1. The program broadcast on TV contained the performance in January 2, too. This program increased the number of fans globally and I am one of them. The first number on this LP, Chopin’s Ballade No. 1, is so superb that it won the hearts of listeners. Monaural LPs were not released.

 The jacket design of the LPs was the same globally, so the photograph of the first pressing in Japan is shown here. 


       G- 1 Photo


H. HOROWITZ SCHUMANN Kreisleriana MS7264

 Kreisleriana on this LP was recorded on December 1, 1969 and the LP would have been released within the month for Christmas. Despite the excellent performance of Kreisleriana, the LP jackets were all the same globally. It is hard for me to believe that this LP did not receive a Grammy Award. I suppose Horowitz received too many Grammy Awards, so they wanted stopped giving them to him.

  Both the front and back covers of the LPs released in the U.K. look exactly the same as those of the American LPs.

  The first pressing in Japan and an LP released in the Netherlands, which has a back cover that varies slightly in design, are shown below.


            H- 3 Photos



 This LP was released in 1971. Sonata No. 2 is especially excellent. Globally, the LP jacket had the same design. However, the LPs re-released in Europe had a new design. The first pressing in Spain and the new jacket used in Europe are shown in the images below.   


         I- RACHMANINOFF  



This jacket was used globally, but a few of the LPs released in France vary in design, as shown in the photograph. In 1979, this LP was released as part of a book in Italy. The book contains some interesting photographs of the family of Toscanini, who was very popular in Italy, and Wanda Horowitz as a child being given a piano lesson by Toscanini. These photographs are also shown here. 


       J- CHOPIN  



 The last number on this LP, Vers La Flamme, is so powerful that it attracts me the most. It is said that Scriabin composed this piece as if it was almost doomsday. It is such a fine performance that the listener can feel doomsday drawing near. This LP received a Grammy Award. Only the LP released in Japan is shown here as the same jackets were used globally. The back cover of an American and a Japanese LP contain a photograph of Horowitz as a child, which is also shown here.


           K- SCRIABIN



 The U.S. and U.K. jackets used for the first pressing were shiny like aluminum foil and they look like they are black when photographed. The jackets of the Japanese LPs and those of other countries as well as American re-releases are silver, but they are not as shiny as aluminum foil. Although they are all the same in design, some are shiny, some are not. Here, the first pressing in Japan is shown.





  Both of the numbers on this LP were recorded in the studio in 1972, then released in 1974. The Japanese jacket, which varies in design from the U.S. jacket, is shown here. The jackets used in other countries are the same as that of the U.S. 





  The recordings on this LP were made between 1972 and 1973, except for a few recordings made in 1968. This LP was released in 1974. This LP, too, has the same design on all the jackets globally. Only a French jacket is shown here.




5.3.2 Mixed LPs that consist of re-releases

  New recordings that Horowitz made for Columbia were released on 14 varieties of LPs (16 LPs in total) as mentioned above. They were re-released as the following LPs, LP sets, and LP boxes. Especially in Japan, complete sets were released three times. Various LPs





B. HOROWITZ ENCORES M35118 (U.S.A.) 1978

  An identical jacket was used for all LPs. The photograph below is of an LP recorded to promote the sales of this LP. 


     B-1 Photo


C. HOROWITZ BEETHOVEN and SCHUMANN                  73322 (Germany) 1974

 D. Schumann                                                                            (The Netherlands) 1984

 E. Portrait of Vladimir HOROWITZ                                       M44797 (Austria) 1989

 F. HOROWITZ CHOPIN I Grandi Interpreti Della Musica    333575 (Italy) 198?

 G. VLADIMIR HOROWITZ                                                     SOCO35 (Japan) 1972

 H. VLADIMIR HOROWITZ                                                     SOCO36 (Japan) 1972


     C D E F G H Catalog of Sounds LP distributed in Japan

  CBS Sony distributed free (or partially paid for) LPs named Catalog of Sounds for sales promotions. The LPs always included Horowitz.


      Catalog of Sounds LP box-set albums of Horowitz

 LP box sets of Horowitz were released globally from the middle of the 1970s to the beginning of the 1980s. In Japan, they were produced as complete sets three times as stated above. 


      Other LPs


 CBS Sony’s Sony Family Club, which sold records to a membership by mail order, released LPs that included performances by Horowitz. These LPs were not sold in record shops. 


     Other LPs 


5.3.3 Valuable LPs released by Columbia

 A. Great Songs of Christmas CSS1033 Christmas Gift (U.S.A.) 1969, Not For Sale

  This LP contains one number, Medtne’s Fairy Tale Op. 51-3 played by Horowitz. This is the only LP that contains this number and was exclusively given to the customers of Goodyear. The various pieces on this LP include Christmas songs performed by Bing Crosby and Joan Sutherland as well as performances by the Mantovani Orchestra. It is practically impossible to obtain this LP


        A Valuable LPs 


B. Encore Columbia Record Club DS-66 (U.S.A.) Not For Sale

  This LP was given to the members of the Columbia Record Club and contains only Chopin’s Revolutionary Étude performed by Horowitz. This LP is not easy to get hold of either.


    B- 1 Photo


C. The Music People SONY-3 (Japan) 1973 Not For Sale

 CBS Sony distributed this LP in 1968 to certain people in order to celebrate the fifth year since they took over the business of Nippon Columbia in Japan. This LP contains the performances of many musicians who were under contract to Columbia and provides stories about the hardship endured in the five years after Sony started in the record business. Sony survived this difficult time to become the present-day world-famous Sony Music Entertainment. When Sony acquired Columbia in the U.S., Mr. Morita, the chairman of Sony, said: “I was often asked ‘why a music apparatus manufacturer like Sony bought a company who holds music sources’. I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ We have been making audio products because we love music and we want to listen to them. We did not make the acquisition not only to expand our company but to fulfill our heart’s desire.”

  The performance by Horowitz included in this LP is only of a part of Schumann’s Kreisleriana. This LP is not easily available. The back cover carries a message including stories about the sufferings endured over the first five years.


     C-3 Photo 


5.3.4 Newly recorded LPs released simultaneously with CDs 

  From around 1983, recordings of Horowitz were released more on CD than on LP. However, LPs were still released, especially in Europe. All three LPs in the photographs below included new recordings. These photographs are also shown in the supplement, “The photographic collection of important and fundamental LPs.”




A. A Tribute to Vladimir Horowitz M45829 (Holland) 1989

 This includes some (presumably unedited) live recordings made on February 1, 1968, the day when Horowitz on TV was taped. Chopin’s Mazurka in B minor is also included in this LP, which carries the incorrect opus number 33-14, instead of 33-4. CDs released simultaneously with these LPs also carry the wrong number, 33-14, but CDs released in Japan carry the correct number, 33-4. The recording date on by those discs, of December 10, 1966, is also incorrect. A CD box released by Carnegie Hall includes a live recording made on the date of December 10, 1966, but Mazurka was not performed in that recording. The correct date might be April 17, 1966.


 B. HOROWITZ IN CONCERT 1967 1968 M45572 (Holland) 1989

All the numbers on this LP were released for the first time.


C. HOROWITZ THE LAST RECORDING S45818 (SONY Classical) (Germany) 1990 

  This was the last recording made at Horowitz’s home. He died on November 5 a few days after the recording. Technically, this LP was not released by Columbia and should not be included here. However, it seems appropriate to do so, given his relationship with CBS.

  After a while, Sony released the Berlin Concert on CD, but never on LP. See Chapter 6 for the details.  


Column 5

           Passionate interest of a Horowitz’s fan  

 There is one story that deserves a special mention about the LP of Horowitz on TV. Takeshi Maruyama was an ardent fan and an acute critic of Horowitz. He died young in 1984. His parents who were grief stricken bought a lot of Horowitz on TV LPs, their son’s favorite, in mourning for their son. They remade the jackets to create memorial LPs. Photographs of Takeshi and a mold of Horowitz created by Takeshi adorn the front and back covers and his critical essay appears inside the gatefold jacket. Takeshi’s extraordinary interest in Horowitz is made evident through the LP. The disc inside the jacket is the real LP of Horowitz on TV. The private LP made by the family of the deceased is shown below. I found out a while later that Takeshi was the son of Masao Maruyama (1914–1996), a leading 20th-century political theorist and intellectual in Japan.


  To Chapter  5.4      Back to Chapter 5.2