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Joined: Jan 2004
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Entheo Offline OP
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CD 503 was in action last night at nichols hall in evanston where the MIC faculty (and a student) recreated the horowitz moscow concert from '86:

[Linked Image]

here's the program and performers:

SCARLATTI Sonata in E Major, L.23
Reiko Yamada

MOZART Sonata in C Major, K330
Allegro moderato, Andante cantabile, Allegretto
Sung Hoon Mo

CHOPIN Mazurka in F minor, Op. 7, No. 3
Elaine Felder

SCHUMANN Traumerei (Reverie) from Scenes of Childhood, Op. 15
Grace Juang

RACHMANINOV Prelude in G# minor Op.32, No.12
Alexander Djordjevic

RACHMANINOV Prelude in G Major, Op. 32, No. 5
Matthew Hagle

LISZT Sonetto 104 del Petrarca
Ralph Neiweem

SCRIABIN Etude in C# minor, Op. 2, No. 1
Matthew Hagle

SCRIABIN Etude in D# minor, Op. 8, No. 12
Andrew Guo

packed house, excellent performances. thanks Music Institute of Chicago!

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I heard a recital by Shura Cherkassky at Steinway Hall around a year after Horowitz's death. Cherkassky played pieces that Horowitz regularly performed, and the last piece was the Scriabin Etude Op. 2. OTOH I find a program exactly reproducing an earlier Horowitz program slightly bizarre.

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Some of us remember watching the original performance live. smile

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Aren't some things left out? I'll have to look up my DG vinyl record of this.

Page turning chair and score, *Gasp* (mock horror).

Pretty hall, squatty columns.


WhoDwaldi
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Here is the complete program for the April 20, 1986 concert.

Scarlatti: Sonata in B minor, K.87
Scarlatti: Sonata in E major, K.380
Scarlatti: Sonata in E major, K.135
Mozart: Sonata in C major, K.330
Rachmaninoff: Prelude in G major, Op.32 No.5
Rachmaninoff: Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op.32 No.12
Scriabin: Etude in C-sharp minor, Op.2 No.1
Scriabin: Etude in D-sharp minor, Op.8 No.12

Schubert: Impromptu in B-flat major, Op.142 No.3
Liszt: Soirée de Vienne No.6 (after Schubert)
Liszt: Sonetto 104 del Petrarca
Chopin: Mazurka in C-sharp minor, Op.30 No.4
Chopin: Mazurka in F minor, Op.7 No.3
Chopin: Polonaise in A-flat major, Op.53

Encores:
Schumann: Träumerei, Op.15 No.7
Moszkowski: Etincelles, Op.36 No.6
Rachmaninoff: Polka de W.R.


Hank Drake

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I think the recording leaves out the Chopin A-flat Polonaise (space?), which the maestro played a tad sloppily (which in no way tarnishes the otherwise superb, historic playing of the entire recital).

I'm sure that the intent of the recreated recital was to pay hommage to a great pianist, present an enjoyable program originally well crafted around Mr. Horowitz's repertoire; and since it was well played and well attended, it's all a good thing.


WhoDwaldi
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most of the faculty have day jobs (teaching) and although many played from memory some did not. my teacher, who played the mozart sonata, had limited time to prepare, and did a fine job.

the excuse for the horowitz recreation was his beloved CD 503 being in town, and a chance to hear it. honestly it sounded a bit subdued, unlike his recordings on it. i wonder if the soundboard is still the original, or if it has been replaced.

nichols hall used to be a church, but the generosity of john and alexandra nichols (and many others) it was acquired by MIC some number of years ago

https://www.musicinst.org/nichols-concert-hall

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CD 503 is not in the state that Horowitz left it, if I recall reports about it correctly. Exactly what has been done, I'm not sure. It has always been said that Horowitz favored lightness and brightness in action and hammers that is hard to control, and that changes were made for the piano's tours.


WhoDwaldi
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Some of us remember watching the original performance live. smile


Indeed, some of us do!

It was one of those pivotal things that made me fall in love with piano forever.

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I wonder what happened to Horowitz's custom benches (he had two identical ones)? One went to Murray Perahia, whom Horowitz had coached. What of the other one?


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Entheo Offline OP
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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
CD 503 is not in the state that Horowitz left it, if I recall reports about it correctly. Exactly what has been done, I'm not sure. It has always been said that Horowitz favored lightness and brightness in action and hammers that is hard to control, and that changes were made for the piano's tours.


two of my friends had a chance to play 503 and said the action is still very light. it doesn't sound very bright anymore.

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Originally Posted by Entheo
most of the faculty have day jobs (teaching) and although many played from memory some did not. my teacher, who played the mozart sonata, had limited time to prepare, and did a fine job.

the excuse for the horowitz recreation was his beloved CD 503 being in town, and a chance to hear it. honestly it sounded a bit subdued, unlike his recordings on it. i wonder if the soundboard is still the original, or if it has been replaced.

nichols hall used to be a church, but the generosity of john and alexandra nichols (and many others) it was acquired by MIC some number of years ago

https://www.musicinst.org/nichols-concert-hall


I played it a few years ago. The soundboard is original but the regulation and voicing have been made less extreme than when Horowitz had it, is what I was told. It probably misses the master's touch !

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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Some of us remember watching the original performance live. smile


Is that the one where he makes silly faces, close-up to the camera?

Many thanks-


phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Toccata (G minor) BWV 915
(and trying not to forget the other stuff I know)
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I've been fortunate enough to play that piano a few times. The first time was back in the early 90s, maybe '93 or '94. I was heading to a recital at the local Steinway dealer and CD 503 was there, along with Franz Mohr himself. Upon my dad's insistence, I warmed up for my recital by playing my piece on Horowitz's concert grand ... with Franz Mohr as the audience. Talk about intimidating! But I remember being so delighted by the piano that I went back to the store every day to play it while it was in town. I distinctly remember that the action was very light and (to me) very pleasing under the hands.

Then in 2006, CD 503 came to my current city, this time accompanied by Van Cliburn's concert Steinway. The sound wasn't as pleasing as I remembered, nor do I have a clear memory of the action being exceptionally light. Overall, the experience just wasn't that memorable and I wasn't compelled to return every day to play it. The reason may simply be because my tastes changed in that 10+ year interval, perhaps I was less the romantic teenager and more the cynical young adult, but it really didn't seem like the same piano I remembered. However, I was quite impressed by Van Cliburn's piano. It had a divine sound and feel.


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I also had the opportunity of playing it in the early 90s. My first reaction was: goodness, I hardly need to touch it and out comes a bright, loud sound. It was really easy to play fast runs on it, but I found it hard to play really pianissimo.

One of Horowitz's secrets must have been the incredibly fine control of the nuances of a very light touch. He played very economically, probably using for pp to f on CD 503 a range of force that would correspond to something like pppp to mf on a typical piano with a standard touch response. That gave him great dynamic reserves: he only had to work a little harder to unleash a thundering fortissimo and he still wasn't at the end of his dynamic possibilities.

From what people say who have played CD 503 more recently, it seems that it the response is no longer so "live" as it was.


Steinway A grand (1919), Richard Lipp grand (1913), Yamaha P2 upright (1983), Kawai ES-100 (2019)

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