Chapter 7

7. Video

7. 1 Footage of Horowitz on VHS, LD, VHD and DVD

Footage of Horowitz is available in various media formats, though it is hard to watch any footage that was shot on film. It is not until video recorders were invented and home video players were widely used that we have easy access to the visual image of Horowitz’s performances. There are two incompatible video standards: NTSC (America, Japan, etc.) and PAL (Europe). Furthermore, there used to be two different sizes of video tape: VHS developed by Japan Victor and Betamax by Sony. Betamax eventually went out of production and VHS became the global standard, so I have only covered the VHS collection here.

             After Horowitz made his TV debut on Horowitz on TV in 1968, he appeared in several more TV programs. When speaking about footage of Horowitz, we usually mean TV recordings, but the content on VHS, LD, DVD and other formats is often slightly different from what was broadcast on TV even though it was sourced from the same recording. This is because the TV broadcaster often edited the program to include additional content such as an interview with Horowitz, comments by the program host or commentator, and excerpts from archived video recordings that the station had the right to broadcast. I taped all the TV programs on Horowitz aired in Japan, and I also acquired some foreign TV programs from my friends abroad. My collection of video recordings is summarized in Table 10. TV programs with the same content aired overseas are listed within the same line item although the narration is spoken in different languages. However, the U.S. and U.K. versions of “Horowitz in Moscow,” which was released in an international live broadcast in 1986, differ slightly. For example, Polka de W.R. (Rachmaninoff) is included in the U.K. broadcast as an encore piece, but not in the U.S. edition. In the U.S. edition, Rubinstein’s son appears as the MC in the show as well as in AT&T’s TV commercial. 

“Horowitz in London” was broadcast on TV Asahi in Japan. Hiroko Nakamura, a Japanese female pianist, was the commentator. On the previous evening, the “Horowitz Special” was also broadcast as an introduction. This TV program covered Horowitz’s rehearsal in London and Hiroko Nakamura’s piano demonstration to analyze Horowitz’s technique. I listed the “Horowitz Special” video separately as a pre-concert event. 

Usually, we cannot access interviews and other additional materials on most Horowitz CDs, but there are many photos and visual information in the video recordings. Also, if we compare the content on CDs and DVDs with the same title, the DVDs are more interesting than the CDs because they include some footage that provides unique information on him. For instance, we can see that Horowitz often had his handkerchief on the left side of the piano during the recital, and at the end of a performance, he often held the handkerchief to his nose. This is not something that can be discovered through listening to a CD. 

About two to three years ago, Hiroshi Takagi, the owner of Horowitz Steinway CD75, appeared in a Japanese TV talk show “Tetsuko’s Room.” The host Tetsuko Kuroyanagi commented that Horowitz often put his favorite perfume on his handkerchief and smelled it sometime during his performance. Surprisingly, when she met Horowitz in person, he gave his handkerchief to her. She showed Takagi the handkerchief during the show, saying, “There is no scent left.” However, when I met Takagi, he said, “During the program, I sniffed his handkerchief. The sweet smell of the perfume was still on it.”

In “The Last Romantic”, the inside of Horowitz’s house was shown on video. We can see his piano in the living room and Horowitz’s and his wife Wanda’s bedrooms. From this video, we can tell that the rooms were furnished with good taste. In the living room, there was a grand piano, and the wall was decorated with some nude paintings. In the video, photos of the exterior of his house were also introduced. I guess I would be able to make a drawing of the house based on the window placements. In addition to his performance, Horowitz’s own anecdotes are included on the video. This information is very helpful as it allows us to get to know his personality, not just his piano playing. 

I didn’t include any photos of the VHS tapes on which I recorded his TV programs with a home video recorder. Instead, there are some photos of DVDs that have relatively good jacket images that seem to have been recorded at home and privately distributed among Horowitz fans. The listed photos of VHSs, LDs and VHDs are those of the officially released editions. The photos of DVDs are also mostly of the commercial products.

An LD or laser disc is a 12-inch optical disc developed by Pioneer Electronics. Similar to a CD, you place a LD on a tray in order to play music. On a LD, the content is recorded on both the front and back sides, like an LP. Each side has one hour of recording capacity. The LD was invented prior to the CD. A VHD is a magnetic disc developed by Japan Victor. It is packaged within a rectangular plastic box. The box contains a two-sided disc that is placed into the player, and you can’t see the disc inside the box. VHDs were about to go into mass production for commercial distribution in 1983, when Horowitz’s concert was taking place in Tokyo. However, Japan Victor’s business strategy failed for some reason and they quickly exited the VHD market. LDs were introduced in the market around 1980, but they had disappeared by the end of the 20th century because DVDs became the market standard.

In the 21st century, thus far DVDs have dominated the global market. However, the market is divided into regions and region codes are defined for each of these global locations. So, unless you have a DVD disc with “Region 0” (region free), you cannot play a DVD disc with a region code for a different country with a local DVD player. I guess that region codes were invented in order to prevent both low-cost mass production in some country and widespread sales around the world. In my opinion, region codes do not benefit consumers so it would be better to get rid of them as soon as possible. DVDs are the same size and shape as CDs, but this regional restriction was intentionally embedded in DVDs. There are no such region codes for CDs. 

Table 10 below provides a summary of the video recordings of Horowitz, organized in chronological order.


1. Silent Film

In 1928, Horowitz’s piano performance was taped using a high-speed camera in the opera theater in Paris. High-speed cameras were a relatively new invention at that time, and his brilliant technique was a great sample of a fast-moving image. He played Chopin’s Etude Op. 10-8 and Op. 25-10. His performance of Op. 25-10 is contained in “The Art of Piano” (Table 10-27) and can be found on YouTube as well. The recording year is said to be 1928 in the video booklet while 1926 is claimed in another source. Horowitz visited Paris to perform in concerts in both 1926 and 1928 so it is hard to verify which year is correct.


 2. Horowitz fans lining up all night for the Carnegie Hall recital in 1965  

This is a well-known episode in which hundreds of people were standing in line overnight to get a Horowitz’s Carnegie Hall recital ticket in 1965. This recital was the first he had performed in 12 years. The video clip is included in “Carnegie Hall 100” (Table 10-23).


 3. Horowitz on TV

 Horowitz’s performance for TV broadcast was recorded on video in Carnegie Hall on January 2 and February 1, 1968. The edited recording was broadcast on CBS on September 22 and December 25, 1968. In Japan, the public broadcaster NHK aired it on May 4, 1971. The audio recording was reproduced and sold in LP and CD formats, and was a big success in terms of sales. The video, however, was not formally released until August 2013, except for part of the content that included Scriabin’s Etude Op. 8-12, and Variations on a Theme from Bizet's Carmen. In 2013, the entire video session was finally released as a supplement for a CD box set produced through a collaboration between Carnegie Hall and Sony Classical. The video is a very valuable item for Horowitz fans because it used to be available only as a private, unofficial edition. I had already acquired video clips from various sources and watched them. Compared with the official edition, I have noticed that there are some minor differences. I have different versions of the video including copies of the TV recording, but the differences among them are subtle. One of the video recordings that I own is divided into two parts; the first part was published by Alexandria Library in Virginia. The official edition was released under the copyright of “1968 The Vladimir Horowitz Estate.” Was it because Horowitz was against the video being released? I wonder whether perhaps CBS didn’t have the copyright for the video. Was there any reason why it was published for the 110th anniversary of his birth? It was 45 years since the recording date, but does this number have any special meaning? 

In addition, the title of the official version is different from the one that I have. The title of the TV version Vladimir Horowitz a Television Concert at Carnegie Hall. was renamed for the official edition as Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall. I believe that the quality of the official video is much better. It seems that some editions were made to the official edition so there are slight differences from the original TV content aired in 1968. 


       Horowitz on TV

     In 2015, a new album related to Horowitz on TV was released. The album contains the following four discs: a SACD reproduction based on the existing CD titled Horowitz on TV (Disc 1), a hybrid CD including his performance on January 2 and February 1, 1968 (Disc 2 and 3), and a DVD containing visual content (Disc 4). Disc 4 is the same content as the accompanying DVD released in 2013, and discs 2 and 3 contain an unedited version.


   Horowtz on TV 


 4.   Interview with Mike Wallace: December 26, 1977

Horowitz gave an interview for a TV news show (60 Minutes) and this 15-minute interview was aired in December 1977. The entire program was 60 minutes long, and was divided into three different sections. Excluding commercials, each section was about 15 minutes long.

In the interview, Horowitz answered some questions about various subjects. I have reproduced some of his remarks below: 

Why do you start a recital at 4 pm on Sunday?

—Typically, a concert starts at 8 pm on weekdays. To make it to a concert, a husband has to rush out of his house as soon as he comes home after work because his wife tells him to hurry up. I do not think people can relax and enjoy music in such a situation. I suppose staring at 4 pm on Sunday works better for the audience because they can take enough time at home and go out for a concert.

 You are the only soloist who receives 80% of the gross revenue, three times as much as any other classical performer today. Are you proud of it? 

—I am not proud, but that’s the way it is. 

 Wanda also talked in the program: 

—In 1965, many people lined up all night for a ticket to his recital. When she was asked about this, she said, “One of them told me that he was standing in the line for 12 hours to get a ticket. Then I said, ‘You know what, I waited for 12 years!’” That day, Wanda visited the fans lining up in the cold and offered them cups of hot coffee and pastries. 

 At the request of Wallace, Horowitz played Stars and Stripes Forever, saying, “I’ve forgotten how to play the piece because I haven’t tried to for 32 years.” His playing was interrupted by a mistouch and ended with a big laugh. He continued to play piano, following up with Variations on a Theme from Bizet's Carmen. While improvising freely, he joked around, saying that he could play for a restaurant. At the end, he was asked about his future plans. He immediately replied, “Visiting Japan.”


5. White House Recital 1978 hosted by President Carter

Horowitz performed in the White House at the invitation of President Carter in 1978. His performance was broadcast across the US. In Japan, TV Asahi aired the video recording in January 1979, and it was run again in June in response to many requests. Hiroko Nakamura was the commentator for the TV program. Horowitz and Wanda showed up in the hall at the White House, accompanied by President Carter and his wife. Following a speech by the President, Horowitz played The Stars and Stripes Forever, four of Chopin’s works (Piano Sonata No. 2, Waltz Op. 34-2, 64-2, and Polonaise No. 6 Heroic) and three encore pieces (Traumerei, Polka de W.R, and Variations on a Theme from Bizet's Carmen). In Japan, the first TV program did not include the playing of Rachmaninov’s Polka de W.R., but the rerun covered all the encores.

Here I would like to share some interesting episodes remarked upon by Hiroko Nakamura in the TV program.

There was a rumor that at the age of 20 Horowitz performed 25 recitals in Leningrad each with a different program, which proved that he had already mastered 200 repertoires.

Half of the audience at his recitals consisted of pianists. She attended the historic return recital in 1965 and the recent recital of all Chopin programs held on May 7, 1978 (I also attended the recital on the same program in NY).

Horowitz was the only living pianist who carried on the authentic performing style of Russian pianism in the 19th century. His piano has a magical power. Once you become fascinated by his piano performance, you will have no appetite for any other pianist. I am one of them. 

She had a Japanese friend who was a Horowitz fan and lived in NY for 20 years (She was referring to Mochizuki. He sat next to me at the Carnegie Hall recital on May 7). 

When Emperor Hirohito was invited to the White House, pianist Van Cliburn performed in the same room. 

            A Steinway Piano was delivered to the White House on the day before, and Horowitz had a piano rehearsal. President Carter showed up there. Horowitz was dissatisfied with a little too much echo in the hall, so he suggested putting carpet on the floor. It is said the President also assisted in laying the carpet.


  The White House Recital 


6.   US TV News in 1978

Horowitz played in the Golden Jubilee concert with the New York Philharmonic led by Eugene Ormandy on January 8, 1978. This is the video recording of a TV news to report about many people waiting in line for a ticket. In the middle of the winter, they were standing on a thick layer of newspaper on the street to protect their feet. 


7.   Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto No. 3: Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic 

Rachmaninov played and recorded this piece with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. I imagine that Horowitz really wanted to do the same because he admired Rachmaninov. So Horowitz performed Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Ormandy in the Golden Jubilee concert in New York on January 8, 1978. The audio recording was released on LPs and CDs but the footage of this concert is not available. 

On February 5, he again played the piece with Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. I am guessing this performance was a kind of rehearsal prior to the formal video recording session. Finally, on September 24, he performed the work with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic, which was recorded on video. This performance was released in the VHS, LD and DVD formats but not in an LP. It remained unavailable on CD for a long time, but it is now included in a 50-CD box set, Vladimir Horowitz in Recital—The Unreleased Live Recordings 1966–1983 released by Sony in October 2015. In 1978 editions, the video only contained the performance with Mehta, and the LP with Ormandy. Perhaps the recording company intentionally released Horowitz’s two different performances in order to celebrate the Golden Jubilee concert. The video recording was broadcast not only on U.S. stations, but also on Japanese stations. At the beginning of the U.S. edition, Zubin Mehta took part in it as a narrator and appeared in a TV commercial during breaks in the program. I have listed the photos of the VHS tape, both sides of the LD, and the DVD.


 With  Z.  Meta : Rachmaninoff P Con. No.3 


 8. London Horowitz Recital Eve Horowitz Special

 On May 23, 1982, Japan’s TV Asahi aired this special program at midnight. This was a pre-event program for the Horowitz London Recital hosted by Prince Charles on the following day. Hiroko Nakamura appeared as guest commentator and demonstrated Horowitz’s piano techniques. She explained his technique as follows: Horowitz sits in a chair positioned low so that his arms look like they are hanging from the keyboard. Keeping his elbows tight against the body, he presses the keys with the power of his strong shoulders and arms. While playing the piano, he moves his wrists up and down. Also, his fingers move ultrafast, swinging like a hovercraft. It is a very interesting analysis of Horowitz’s performing style. The program showed an excerpt of the concluding part of Rachmaninov’s Piano Sonata No. 2 from the rehearsal in London on May 18, and the beginning of Chopin’s Ballade No. 1.


9. Horowitz in London


      The actual recital was also broadcast on TV Asahi. Hiroko Nakamura appeared as guest commentator again, following the pre-recital program. The station aired fewer pieces than those on the retail CD but showed his interview at the Connaught Hotel in London. One of the questions was why had Horowitz recorded the same piece several times. He answered, “I seldom listen to my own recording. The camera crew is now filming me but my facial expression will vary at each interview, won’t it? The same is true of a piano performance. I never play the same piece in the same way. My performance changes every time like my facial expression. For example, the performance of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Appassionata sounds horrible on the RCA recording, but not so bad on the CBS recording. I really do not know why, but each performance is so different.” This interview is not included in the released LDs and DVDs. During the TV show, Hiroko Nakamura commented: “Some pianists have their style affected by a specific composer. Some are called a player with Mozart’s style, others a player with Beethoven’s style. Let me compare a pianist to a painter. An ordinary pianist has only five different colors in their pallet but Horowitz has 100 colors to express tonal colors. That’s why he can bring out such brightness and sonority in the performance of Scarlatti’s piano sonata. No one else can do the same thing.” 

      Horowitz gave a short interview at home prior to his departure for London. The LDs and DVDs contain this interesting interview with a lot of his photos. TV Asahi did not air the interview but a part of it was broadcast on the news shows in the US. This interview is on disc 44 of the CD box set Vladimir Horowitz Collection released in 2009 (no footage available). Table 11 shows the recital program on TV and the lists of the pieces in the LD, VHD and DVD recordings and on the BBC CD.


VHS 1982

LD 1982

LD 1982

VHD 1982

DVD 1982 and2012

CD 2009

              Horowiz in London  


10. TV news on NHK reporting on the release of tickets for Horowitz’s recital and his visit to Japan in 1983

 In the report, many people were waiting in line in front of Kajimoto Music Office to buy a ticket for his recital in Tokyo. Minagawa, Seto, and and Mrs. Kato were interviewed. The report includes a shot of Horowitz arriving at Narita Airport. 


11. Interview with Horowitz at Hotel Okura and a commercial television news report about his visit to Japan

 In the interview, Horowitz commented that he was very happy to visit Japan and everyone here was being very kind to him. Also, he remarked that composers were an important resource and he was just a piano player. He added that a program for the Tokyo recital contained Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op. 101 and Schumann’s Carnaval and the two pieces were seldom played on stage. He also revealed that he didn’t spend many hours practicing. Furthermore, he showed a female interviewer his hand and compared his fingers with hers.

 The footage also contains commercial TV news that reported on his arrival at Narita Airport and an excerpt of a recital held in the U.S. (probably in Chicago). 


12. Tokyo recital in 1983

Horowitz performed a recital in Tokyo on June 11, 1983. This recital was broadcast on NHK the next day, and was run again in December. At the beginning of the TV program, we can see footage of Minagawa and and Mrs. Kato waiting in line for a ticket to his recital. During the intermission after the first half of the recital, the TV program showed an interview with Horowitz taped at Hotel Okura, and interviews with some audience members (Japanese cellist Tsuyoshi Tutumi was one of them). It seems that all the interviewees talked about Horowitz’s performance at the recital, showing genuine concern for him. In a later part of the TV program, there was an interview with Hidekazu Yoshida, a music critic. In the interview, Yoshida called him “a cracked antique,” which ended up as a famous quote. I have duplicated Yoshida’s remark in detail here: “I was expecting so much. Because he is definitely one of the greatest pianists of the century. But he seems to have grown old. He is like an antique item. I don’t like to compare a person with such a thing, though. Some people like antique items and others dislike and don’t need them. Now that Horowitz’s performance has become something like this, I shouldn’t go into details about his defects. I just wanted to listen to his performance a little earlier. I think he is a pianist who is now an antique, in fact, a bit of a cracked one.” 

 Yoshida summed up Horowitz’s performance at the Tokyo recital with a short phrase. I think that Yoshida was the best music critic in Japan.

Japan Victor released this recital as Horowitz: The Recital of the Century on VHS and VHD. A VHD is a magnetic disc developed by the company. However, VHDs went out of production several years after the release of this footage. His withdrawal from the stage for almost two years began after this recital in Tokyo.



13. The Last Romantic in 1985

 Two years after the Tokyo recital in 1983, he overcame his failure in the city and completely recharged with the help of a new doctor. Peter Gelb suggested to him that he should record his piano performance, so they ran a video-recording session at home in April 1985. At the beginning of the video, Horowitz chooses a piano with Franz Mohr in the basement of the Steinway showroom in New York. The pianist plays Chopin’s Polonaise No. 6 Heroic to check playability. 

During the recording session, he seems very relaxed. He jokes and performs many pieces. Probably this is because the recording session took place at home. Wanda sits next to him all the time. He talks about various topics during break. He says that the coda of Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 is similar to the finale of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Appassionata, but Chopin’s one is much more pianistic. This remark impressed me very much. As the camera moves through the living room, we gain glimpses of his grand piano and four photos on the wall. The photos are of Toscanini with his autograph (a present sent from Toscanini before Horowitz and Wanda were married), of Rachmaninov, of Paderewski, and of Puccini. The photo of Toscanini is placed above the others on the wall; Rachmaninov’s and Paderewski’s photos are displayed below that of Toscanini, and that of Puccini is on its own at the bottom. Toscanini’s photo is always displayed in the same position, but the others are placed in a different order from time to time. I thought that one of the four photos would probably be of Puccini, but I couldn’t exactly tell that it was him from photos on LP covers and elsewhere. However, I can now confirm that this is a photo of Puccini based on The Last Romantic. Also, we can see a folding screen with an image of some Japanese samurai behind a sofa. There is a fireplace on the opposite side of this folding screen. A painting by Georges Rouault used to be displayed above the fireplace. The famous painting by Picasso Saltimbanque Seated with Arms Crossed is no longer displayed in the living room. This painting is currently a part of the collection of the Bridgestone Museum of Art in Tokyo. In the video, Horowitz’s and Wanda’s rooms are also shown. 

“The Last Romantic” was aired on NHK. The content was exactly the same as that contained in the released VHSs, LDs, VHDs and DVDs. The CDs produced by Deutsche Grammophon contain the same content, but his interviews were cut from the CD edition.


VHS Tapes

VHD Front and Back

LD Front and Back 1985

LD Front and Back 1992

DVD  Left 2000,  Right 2012


14. A bonus DVD that is contained in the Historic Return 1965 CD book (unedited version)

Sony released a booklet with a CD and bonus DVD titled The Historic Return 1965. The DVD contains some parts that were excluded from The Last Romantic. The unedited 1965 version of the two-CD set was re-released by Sony in 2003, accompanied by the bonus DVD. We can enjoy not only his performances, but also his humorous conversations through the DVD. The DVD only contains three pieces (listed below). The footage on the DVD is also included on a supplementary DVD for a CD box set produced by Frankfurter Allgemein. 

 Chopin               Etude No. 5 in Gb, Op. 10-5, Black Key

  Liszt                 Années de pelerinage, Première année, Suisse No. 4 Au bord                                          d'une source

  Moszkowski     Etude in F major, Op. 72-6
       Out of three pieces above, those of Liszt and Chopin are only on the DVDs, not on the CDs. 


 Bonus DVD of Unedeted 1965and Frankfuter Allgemaeine 


15. Horowitz on CBS News in 1985

This is a news report by CBS about the release of The Last Romantic. The news program showed highlights of The Last Romantic and a recital at La Scala in Milan in November 1985, as well as an interview with Horowitz.


16. Horowitz in Moscow in 1986

       The U.S. and U.K. versions of Horowitz in Moscow were televised live in 1986, but this recital was not broadcast in the former Soviet Union. There was no announcement of the recital even in an event schedule for the venue in Moscow. However, thanks to a single poster of Horowitz in Moscow on the wall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the hall was fully packed. Rachmaninov’s Polka de W.R. was not included in the U.S. broadcast, but it was aired on BBC. The piece was included in the VHS version, but it was cut from the LD and DVD versions (however, it is on some DVDs of the U.S. edition). The DVDs released in China included this piece. 

The U.S. and U.K. versions of Horowitz in Moscow were live broadcasts, and each TV station aired its respective content during a break in the recital. The U.K. version introduced some anecdotes about his childhood and Scriabin, and showed a scene of Horowitz meeting Scriabin’s daughter in Moscow and playing a part of Scriabin’s Etude Op. 8-12 in front of her. Furthermore, in the U.K. broadcast, Horowitz strolls along the street with Wanda, Peter Gelb and others, shares a story about how he met Rachmaninov for the first time, and brings up Franz Mohr’s name. The footage of the U.K. version is very similar to that on the released LDs, VHDs and DVDs. During a break in the recital, the U.S. broadcast showed interviews with a student and professor from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, a piano lesson at the conservatory, an excerpt of Richter’s piano performance and an episode about Franz Mohr, a piano technician, who accompanied Horowitz on a visit to Moscow. 

Horowitz in Moscow was also released in LP and CD formats. The LP and CD versions contain Rachmaninov’s Polka de W.R., excluding Scarlatti’s piano sonatas (K. 87 and K. 135), Schubert’s Impromptu Op. 142-3, and Chopin’s Polonaise Op. 53. 


VHS Tape Left 1986 Right 1995

VHD Front and Back 1986

LD Front and Back 1986 First Release        made a mistake?

LD Front and Back 1986

LD Front and Back 1992

      DVD Left 2000 and   Right 2005

17. Horowitz in Tokyo: A private video recorded by a Japanese fan

This is video footage that a Japanese fan of Horowitz (not one of us) recorded about Horowitz’s stay in Tokyo in 1986. In 1986, Horowitz performed three recitals in Tokyo. The video contains his performance at two of the recitals (the second and third days) including encore pieces. However, only an audio recording of his performances is provided in the video (no footage is available).

The video also includes newspaper and magazine articles that shared news about his successful recital in Moscow with the world, articles from Japanese newspapers about his revisit to Japan, local TV news that reported his arrival at Narita Airport, and newspaper articles about his success at the opening recital in Tokyo. In addition, we can enjoy scenes of Wanda, Peter Gelb and Franz Mohr coming into the hall, of the audience waiting for his recital to start, of his performance of Scriabin’s Etude Op. 8-12 at the end of the first half of the recital (available only in audio), and of the audience giving him sustained applause. In the video, as soon as he finishes Moszkowski's Etincelles as an encore piece, many people flock to applaud him in front of the stage, give a bunch of flowers to him, and ask for a handshake. When he leaves the hall, a lot of fans are waiting for him. He goes to get into a car and drives off, but some fans chase his car.

The video contains a scene of a fan asking for a photo with him and his autograph in Capitol Tokyu Hotel, where Horowitz was staying. Some articles that reported on how he spent his time in the hotel are also included.

On the third day of his Tokyo recitals, he is reluctant to get out of a car, so Peter Gelb convinces him to do so. He performs Chopin’s Polonaise No. 6 “Heroic at the end of the third recital. All the audience give him a standing ovation and many fans gather in front of the stage. The video contains the following two out of the three encore pieces (audio only): Moszkowski's Etincelles and Schumann’s Traumerei. We can tell how ecstatic the audience was about his performance from the footage. I also attended the third recital, so I experienced the enthusiastic atmosphere in the hall. The video shows how much his fans were delighted with his return. A huge crowd of fans waited to see him after the last recital. He flew back home on July 10. In the last scene, an airplane (United Airlines) takes off from Narita Airport and disappears into the sky, with Traumerei by Horowitz playing in the background. The video means so much to me, but it is not for sale.


18. Horowitz at the White House in 1986 (during the Reagan presidency) 

 This TV program was broadcast around 1990 on TV Asahi. In the program, Hiroko Nakamura introduced Horowitz’s performance at the White House in 1986. Horowitz gave a concert at the White House at the invitation of President Reagan. The TV program showed a limited excerpt of the concert. The excerpt of Moszkowski's Etincelles was also included as an encore piece. At the end of the concert, there was an accident. When the First Couple and and Mrs. Horowitz appeared on the stage to a round of applause, Nancy Reagan fell down from the stage. Footage that captured this moment was not included in the TV program. However, some TV news programs aired this scene in the U.S., and photos of this accident were published in magazines and other media. Fortunately, Mrs Reagan didn’t get injured.


19. Horowitz Plays Mozart in 1987

 In March 1987, Horowitz recorded Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 on video with the Filarmonica della Scala conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini in a studio in Milan. The video was made in the style of a documentary so it is more interesting than other footage that only records his performances. He was 83 years old at the time, and this was the first performance of a Mozart piano concerto. He played the piece while looking at a music score. During the footage, he seems relaxed. When he comes into the studio, he says, “You are handsome,” to a young man standing near the entrance door.

 He said that he liked Mozart's works toward the end of his life, but he had rarely played Mozart’s pieces earlier on in his career. There are no records or CDs of him performing Mozart’s pieces, except for this video. In the video, he gives an interview during a break. The interviewer asks him who his favorite composer is, and he answers “Mozart.” When I saw this scene, I was very surprised. He continues that he likes the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, but he doesn’t like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at all. Furthermore, he adds that the Cleveland Orchestra is okay, and that he likes the opera in New York, but not the orchestras there. When the first movement of the piece finished and the second movement started, I thought that it would have been better if he had played by himself. However, the Filarmonica della Scala started joining his piano gently, which turned into a great performance. Maybe he is now old enough to give such a mature performance. Or, this might just mean that I’ve got old.


VHS Tape

LD in Japan 1989

LD in UK 1989

DVD 2012

 Mozart Piano Con. No.23  


20. Horowitz in Vienna in 1987

 Horowitz performed a recital in the Golden Hall of the Viennese Music Association on May 31, 1987. All of the program is on the released LDs and DVDs. However, there are two versions of the VHS recording. One includes every piece from the recital and the other contains all the program, except for Mozart’s K.333, Schubert’s Op. 90-3, Chopin’s Mazurka Op. 33-4, Liszt’s Consolation No. 3 (an encore), and Schubert’s Moment Musical Op. 90-3 (an encore). 

The recital was broadcast, and the content was the same as that on the LDs and DVDs. In the footage we can see how excited the audience in Vienna was. While a round of applause sometimes bothers us when we listen to a CD, it gives a more immersive experience in a video recording such as this footage.


VHS Tape 1990, 1990, 1991

LD 1990

LD 1991

DVD 2012

 Recital in Vienna  


21. Grammy special award in 1988

 Horowitz received a special award at the Grammys in 1988. The video contains an excerpt from the ceremony. In his acceptance speech, he said that he was very glad to know classical music was still valued. 


22. U.S. TV news report on Horowitz’s funeral in Milan 

 Horowitz died at home on November 5, 1989. His casket was brought to Milan by airplane and his funeral took place at La Scala on November 10. The news reported his death, showing a scene about him being buried in the Toscanini family tomb. The image of the tomb is used on the back cover of this book.


23. Carnegie Hall 100 in 1991

  Isaac Stern, a violinist and the chairman of Carnegie Hall, recalls the history of the hall, and various musicians from different genres such as classical music, jazz and popular music appear. The video contains a scene of hundreds of fans waiting in line overnight to buy a ticket for Horowitz’s historic return recital in 1965, and interviews with some fans in line. One of the interviewees says he has been standing in line for 48 hours. Horowitz’s performance of Scriabin’s Etude Op. 8-12 from Horowitz on TV recorded in 1968 is included on this video. 



LD Front and Back 1991


     Carnegie Hall 100th 


24. Toscanini

  This is a video about Arturo Toscanini, Horowitz’s father-in-law. Horowitz’s performances are not included, but there are some shots of Horowitz playing with his daughter, Sonia, and of Toscanini holding his granddaughter in his arms.


VHS Tape 1991

LD 1985

DVD 2004



25. A Reminiscence

 This documentary was made to commemorate Horowitz’s death. Japanese TV stations aired the documentary, renaming it The Art of Horowitz – the legendary pianist or Remembrance of Horowitz. However, the content was exactly the same as that on the released DVDs. This documentary is in three parts.

 I have given an asterisk (*) to the performances that are especially important. The pieces marked below are the first-ever release. I am particularly impressed by the fact that the footage of him performing Scriabin’s Vers La Flamme in 1974 still exists. 

 In the documentary, Wanda remembers how he found Clementi’s scores in Italy and came to play the composer’s pieces. According to her, he became obsessed with Clementi at the time. The documentary was released in VHS, LD, and DVD formats. 

Part 1

Chopin Polonaise No. 6 Heroic (a compilation of his performances recorded at home, in Moscow and in Vienna, an excerpt)

*Clementi Sonata Op. 26-2, recorded at home in 1974 (it contains the entire piece, but it is split in two parts)

Mozart Sonata K.330, recorded at home in 1985 (an excerpt)

Chopin Mazurka Op. 17-4, recorded at home in 1985 (an excerpt)

Scriabin Etude Op. 8-12, recorded in London in 1985 (an excerpt)

Youmans Tea for Two, recorded at home in 1985 (an excerpt)

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, audio only (a limited excerpt)

Rachmaninov Prelude Op. 32-12, recorded in Moscow in 1986 (the entire piece)

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5, audio only (a limited excerpt)

Scriabin Etude Op. 2-1, recorded in 1987, partial footage (the entire piece)

Schubert­=Liszt Valse Caprices, recorded in Vienna in 1987 (the entire piece)

*Scriabin Vers La Flamme Op. 72, recorded in 1974 (the entire piece)

Chopin Scherzo Op. 20, recorded at home in 1985 (the entire piece)

Moszkowski Etincelles Op. 36-6, recorded in Moscow in 1986 (an excerpt)

Schumann Traumerei from Kinderszenen, recorded in Moscow in 1986 (the entire piece)

Liszt Consolation, limited footage

Scarlatti Sonata K.380, used for the ending title of Part 1, no footage

Part 2

 Chopin Introduction and Rondo, Op. 16, recorded in 1974 (the entire piece)  

Part 3

 Horowitz in London, see Table 11 for details.

In Japan, Horowitz in London was released as a box set that includes a DVD and CD. The CD of the box set doesn’t contain any of the first-ever released pieces.


VHS Tape 1993

LD Front and Back 1993

DVD 2001 and 2012

    A Reminiscence 


26. The Golden Age of Piano

 The Golden Age of Piano includes footage of the following pianists: Claudio Arrau, Rudolf Serkin, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Wanda Landowska, Myra Hess, Artur Rubinstein, Alexander Brailowsky, Ignacy Paderewski, Josef Hoffmann, Percy Grainger, Alfred Cortot, and Van Cliburn. Regarding Horowitz’s performances, the footage of Scriabin’s Etude Op. 8-12 from Horowitz on TV in 1968 is the only example. This video was released in VHS, LD, and DVD formats.


VHS Tape 1993

LD 1994

DVD 1994

 The Golden Age of Piano 


27. The Art of Piano

  The Art of Piano includes footage of the following pianists: Ignacy Paderewsk, Josef Hoffmann, Sergei Rachmaninov, Benno Moiseiwitsch, Vladimir Horowitz, Georges Cziffra, Myra Hess, Artur Rubinstein, Francis Planté, Alfred Cortot, Edwin Fischer, Wilhelm Backhaus, Emil Gilels, Sviatoslav Richter, Arturo Michelangeli, Glenn Gould, Claudio Arrau and Annie Fischer. In addition to the DVD set, there is also a CD version with very similar content.

 The DVD set contains an excerpt from the silent film shot at the opera theater in Paris in 1928. Horowitz’s performance was recorded using a high-speed camera. Chopin’s Etude Op. 25-10 is also included. This piece is not included in the CD set, instead the set contains Chopin’s Etude Op. 10-8 (recorded in October 1940). 

Also, Horowitz’s performances of Scriabin’s Etude Op. 8-12 from Horowitz on TV in 1968 and Variations on a Theme from Bizet's Carmen are included in the DVD set. The CD set has a different version of Variations on a Theme from Bizet's Carmen (recorded in April 1928).


VHS Tape

DVD 1994

  The Art of Piano  2 Photos


28. DVD box sets

 In 2012, Sony released a six-DVD box set that contains footage described in the sections above (9, 13, 16, 19, 20 and 25). In 2016, Sony re-released the DVD box set, adding the footage mentioned in Section 14 as a bonus track.


   SONY Horowitz DVD-BOX


7.2 DVDs released in China

  Horowitz is very popular in China too, and all of his DVDs that were produced in Europe and Japan were also released in China. Apparently, the Chinese versions that I own aren’t officially imported products. It isn’t clear whether these DVDs are bootlegs or officially licensed products, but they were sold at very cheap prices. In China, the DVDs released in Japan are sold as is: they have Japanese liner notes and the same jackets with the addresses of the Japanese distributors printed on them. However, the DVD numbers are different from those on the Japanese editions. Recently, only officially licensed editions can be found in China, so pirated editions might not be available any more. I hope bootlegs decrease in China too going forward.


    DVDs released in China  


7.3 Background footage that displays beautiful images and uses performances by Horowitz and other pianists

As I explained in Section 6, many products related to Horowitz went on the market in various formats after his death. Such products include LDs/DVDs for background footage. As time has passed, the size of TV screens has become bigger and the quality of TV images has improved. So it is now common to use a TV as a device to display background videos. An example of this usage is the showing of grand scenery on TV while playing pieces by top pianists as background music. I have listed the LDs and DVDs that include Horowitz’s performances as background music below.



    Beautiful images  

Next to Chapter 8