For his final concert, recorded June 21, 1987, renowned pianist Vladimir Horowitz performs compositional works by Mozart, Liszt, Schumann, Chopin, Schubert and Moszkowski.
Any attempt to define the qualities of Vladimir Horowitz usually begin and end in a sea of superlatives. His 'ne plus ultra' virtuosity earned Horowitz his reputation as the "Liszt of our age". Commemorating the 30th anniversary of his death (5th November), Deutsche Grammophon reissues four of his legendary recordings on vinyl, including his three-time Grammy Award-winning 1985 Studio Recordings; and releases, for the first time ever on vinyl, Horowitz's last recital in Hamburg.
This June 21, 1987 recital from Hamburg capped Vladimir Horowitz's last European tour and proved to be his final public performance. It confirms what we know of the relaxed, poetic style characterizing the veteran pianist's late-period DG recordings. His joy reconnecting with Mozart's music is everywhere evident in the D major Rondo, while the B-flat K. 333 receives a more direct, less garishly accented interpretation in comparison with his studio traversal a few months earlier (this time Horowitz wisely ignores the first movement's second-half repeat).
The Schubert/Liszt Valse-Caprice splits the difference between Horowitz's solid, ever-so-slightly cautious studio version and the more volatile performance from the historic 1986 Moscow concert. His own conclusion, of course, delights as much as his revamped ending to Moszkowski's Etincelles. Although Horowitz always garnished Schumann's Kinderszenen with affetuoso gestures, the Hamburg reading is far superior to the overly mannered caricature from five years earlier, preserved on Horowitz in London (RCA). Yet Horowitz's unique legato pedaling truly comes to the fore in the Chopin B minor Mazurka's fanciful cantabiles. By playing softly with tricky details in much of the A-flat Polonaise, the old pro cannily substitutes craft for the galvanic thrust of yore.
Vladimir Horowitz piano
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Rondo in D Major
Piano Sonata No. 13 in B Flat
Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Soirees de Vienne
No.6 in A minor
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Kinderszenen, Op. 15
Von fremden Ländern und Menschenr
Ritter vom Steckenpferd
Fast zu ernst
Kind im Einschlummern
Der Dichter spricht
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)
Mazurka No.25 in B minor Op.33 No.4
Polonaise No.6 In A-Flat, Op.53 "Heroic"
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
6 Moments musicaux, Op. 94
Maurice Moritz Moszkowski (1854-1925)
Etincelles, Morceau caracteristique Op.36, No.6