Vladimir Horowitz    Analysis 1

  Summary of the year, composer, and the frequency of recitals and recordings



Analysis 1 of Horowitz’s Recordings

 Horowitz’s piano performances were preserved by the various form of the recording materials, including official recording, his private recording, personal recorders made by the audience or bootleg recording by recital hall staffs, and archives from radio live streaming. What means more to us is not the volume itself, rather, the recording was officially released. The fact guaranteed the value and quality of the contents, because it was released as a product in the market based on the recording producer’s screening, evaluation of the rendition and commercial value. Normally, the recording company would not sale the same program for multiple times. During the recital tours in the season, the pianist would usually appear with the same program, yet the number of frequency itself did not guarantee the quality of the rendition.

 In this chapter, I summarized the composer and composition in the chronological order, and tried to clarify the program pattern based on the statistical data.

 Horowitz’s official archives were produced between 1926 and 1989, including his favorite 35 composers, such as Chopin, Scarlatti, Schumann, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Liszt, Shubert, Debussy and Mendelssohn. There was 13 composers which he played for at the recitals but never recorded, for example, Arensky, Blumenfeld, Bolodin, Frank, Grieg, Hummel, Ravel, Szymanovsky and Vivaldi.

 The repertory listing is included as Appendix V “VALDIMIR HOROWITZ Repertoire Listing – his commercial recordings and public performance”, which included the information of title, year and type of mediums (Piano Roll, 78, 45, LP, CD). 

 Table I listed the year and composers with the frequency of recitals and recordings (based on the Horowitz website and Ishii Collection). The gradation of red color represents the frequency; darker means more, lighter means less. The only recording was in green. In that way, we could visually acknowledge the program pattern as to which music and composer he preferred, in which year throughout his career. The statistic tells us when Horowitz played Scriabin and Clementi to establish the composers’ publicity in the music world, and the type of program that he was requested by the recording producers, while he ceased the public performance due to a health condition or temporal retirement.

Next Analysis 2