Chapter  6.2

6. 2 RCA/BMG/JVC                   

 In 1982, CDs were invented. Horowitz was still under contract with RCA at the time. In the latter days of the contract, RCA released eight LPs of his performances, but they didn’t simultaneously produce his corresponding CDs. It appears that RCA started selling CDs of his performances from 1985 after the contract with Horowitz ended. Some people say the first edition of “Horowitz at the MET” was simultaneously released as a CD and an LP in 1982, but it’s not known whether this is true.

RCA released several CDs that contained the same recordings as those on his LPs. However, only five out of his eight LPs were reproduced on CD. In total 10 CDs of his performances were released before Horowitz died in 1989 (to be exact, some were planned prior to his death and released in 1990). These CDs consisted of all the RCA recordings made in the first and second contract periods, sorted by composer.

 In 1993, RCA released a 2-CD box set that contained all his performances that they had already released. Later, the label released several CDs of Horowitz with the same jacket images as those of their previously released CDs. After 24-bit remastered CDs came on to the scene, they also released remastered CDs of this type using the same jacket design as before.

 In 1986, BMG purchased RCA. However, the RCA logo continued to be used even after the acquisition. In 2006, Sony (Sony Music Entertainment) merged with BMG, but the logo has been kept for their products. In Europe, the logo of Sony/BMG Classical was tentatively used right after the merger. Below I have listed the jacket images of his CDs, mainly including the ones with the RCA logo that were released from his early days with RCA through to 2006, regardless of the label name. The jackets of the fundamental CDs are also included in the Appendix “Important and fundamental CDs photomap” for quick reference.

 Horowitz made a private recording in Carnegie Hall. This recording is called The Yale Collection and BMG released a part of this collection as three CDs. The CDs included pieces that had been released for the first time ever. RCA released LPs that reproduced some, but not all, of his performances on 78s and 45s. BMG eventually reproduced all of his performances on CD, using the recordings made for RCA’s 78s, 45s and LPs. These CDs were released years later, though. I have provided the CD collections of Horowitz in chronological order below. 


6. 2. 1 From 1985 to 1990

 BMG released 10 CDs before Horowitz's death. The label used the same jackets all over the world, so I have listed one example for each CD. I have added a letter of the alphabet such as A, D, or J to the disc number in order to indicate the country in which a certain CD was released. This letter is not a part of the original CD number. Each letter of the alphabet represents a different country as follows: A = America, B = Britain, C = Canada, D = Deutschland (Germany), F = France, G = Greece, H = Holland, I = Italy, J = Japan, R = Russia, and S = Spain. All 10 CDs were released in a lot of countries, and the same jacket was used for each CD in all of the countries in which they were released. So I have listed each CD by selecting the one released in a different country. The pieces on these 10 CDs are listed in Appendix III.3.


           RCAA10 CDs


Among the 10 CDs, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3, which he played in 1978, his concert at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1981, and the Scriabin Collection were rereleased several times, each time with a slightly updated jacket. Interestingly, the first Japanese version of the recital at MET CD had the left-right reversed image of Horowitz on the jacket, which was different from that of the U.S. version. The negative was probably printed in an inverted position. For the Japanese version that was recently released, its jacket image was placed at the right position.

  I have listed all the 24-bit remastered versions that were released with a new jacket. Some CDs of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 used the same jacket, but the CD below contained Piano Sonata No. 2 as well. Even though the same jacket and content were used, the CD number varied among the different countries. However, I haven’t listed them here. Most of them were released after 1990 so really they should be listed in the next section, but I have included them in this section because they are closely related to the first editions released prior to 1990. 


         RCAB 6 CDs


6. 2. 2 From Horowitz’s death to 2007

             After Horowitz’s death on November 5, 1989, RCA/BMG produced CD reproductions of his piano recitals, using almost all of the recordings made from 1928. In 1993, BMG released Horowitz's complete recordings as a 22-CD box set. Four of the 22 CDs contained the same pieces as those on the CDs released in 1989. The remaining 18 CDs used the recordings that were released over the period 1990 through 1993. Each CD was also sold as an individual product. Below are photos of the box itself and the 22 CDs. For the pieces contained in the set, see Appendix III.4.


          RCAA 22 CDs



 It’s notable that BMG released three CDs using Horowitz’s recordings that had never gone public. This means that all the CDs except these three CDs were rereleased versions. In 1994, two CDs were released that contained selected pieces from The Yale Collection. Another album (2-CD set) came out in 2003. The 2-CD set contained a complete recording of his recital in Carnegie Hall on November 16, 1975. The pieces on the three CDs were first-ever releases. The pieces on these CDs are listed in Appendix III.5.

 In Appendix V, I have marked “CD (BMG)” for an appropriate piece in the program listing. 


         (C-1)   3 Photos


     After 1994, in response to users’ needs, BMG released some CDs, using the jacket images of previous LPs or new pictures of Horowitz, and made these rereleased versions with a different CD number. I have listed such CDs that were released in the US, EU and Japan here.


          C  RCA-A   4 CDs


  C        RCA-EU,RCA-J   21 CDs


 In 2001, RCA/BMG released a 2-CD set titled “RCA Red Seal Century” in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of The Victor Talking Machine (the predecessor of RCA). The CD contained performances by various soloists and conductors. Fantasy on Themes from Bizet’s Carmen by Horowitz (the first-ever release), which was recorded on May 14, 1957, was also included on this CD.


        Century CD


 Two CDs including performances by Horowitz and Toscanini were also released. Below is the CD released in Japan. See Appendix III.4 for further information on the pieces on those CDs.


   C        Toscanini  3 CDs


            For the CDs with the RCA logo that were released after 2007, see Section 6.3 because BMG had merged with Sony (Sony Music Entertainment) the year before in 2006.


6. 2. 3 CDs released by JVC

             After the merger between BMG and Sony, Japan Victor (JVC) released three CDs. The contents of the CDs were the same as those of the previous CDs produced by BMG, but JVC remastered them using its newly invented XRCD24 process. The high-quality CDs were gorgeously packaged in a book format with a paper cover, a style of cover that was widely used in Europe. The covers were redesigned based on the LP jackets that RCA had released in the U.S. and Japan. The dog logo, which reminds us of the HMV logo, was printed on the CDs in a bigger and prouder way. This made me think that JVC possibly wanted to say that using this logo was not acceptable in Japan even after Sony had merged with BMG.


           JVC  4 CDs


6. 2. 4 Reproductions of RCA 78, 45 and LP recordings released by non-major labels

 Around 1990, many non-major labels started reproducing the RCA recordings for 78s, 45s and LPs on CD (Some included recordings that RCA hadn’t previously released.) In the fundamental collection of Horowitz’s output, there are 19 CDs that consist of Horowitz’s performances alone. Five out of the 19 albums contain the first-ever released versions so they have been listed in Section The other 14 CDs are below. They are also important as a collection released by a non-major label. Other CD jackets are in Section 6.6.2, though there are a great many that I haven’t listed. 


             RCA SP,EP,LP-CD (6.2.4)  14 CDs

  To Chapter 6.3