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Late Russian Romantics

Sergei Rachmaninov , Alexander Scriabin , Vladimir Horowitz Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Performer: Vladimir Horowitz
  • Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov, Alexander Scriabin
  • Audio CD (June 14, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000290I
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,083 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Alexander Scriabin: Feuillet d'album in E-flat major, Op. 45 No.1, Andante piacevole
2. Alexander Scriabin: Etude in F-sharp minor, Op. 8 No. 2
3. Alexander Scriabin: Etude in B-flat minor, Op.8 No. 11
4. Alexander Scriabin: Etude in D-flat major, Op. 8 No. 8
5. Alexander Scriabin: Etude in F-sharp major, Op. 42 No.3
6. Alexander Scriabin: etude in F-sharp major, Op. 42 No. 3
7. Alexander Scriabin: Etude in F-sharp major, Op. 42 No.4
8. Alexander Scriabin: Etude in C-sharp minor, Op. 42 No. 5
9. Alexander Scriabin: Etude, Op.65 No.3
10. Alexander Scriabin: 2 Poemes, Op. 69, No. 1 - Allegretto
11. Alexander Scriabin: 2 Poemes, Op. 69, No. 2 - Allegretto
12. Alexander Scriabin: Vers la flamme (poeme), Op. 72
13. Alexander Scriabin: Feuillet d'album, Op.58
14. Nicolai Medtner: Fairy Tale in A major, Op. 51 No.3
15. Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor
16. Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor
17. Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor
18. Sergei Rachmaninov: Prelude in G-sharp minor
19. Sergei Rachmaninov: Moment musical in B minor
20. Sergei Rachmaninov: Etude- Tableau in E- flat minor
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Russian composers brought playing from Horowitz that was invariably involved and riveting. He was personally close to Rachmaninoff and commands the sprawling B-flat Minor Sonata as few others have done. It's a conflation of the composer's 1914 original and Horowitz's 1931 alterations. Elsewhere on the disc, the Medtner Fairy Tale is a delightful romp, and Scriabin's often impenetrable mysticism is set forth with appropriately Russian brooding. Here, and in the Rachmaninoff études-tableaux, Horowitz's delicacy and power argue convincingly for music that lies close to his heart. --Dan Davis

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Unequaled June 29, 2003
Volume Nine of Sony's Horowitz reissue contains music by the pianist's fellow countrymen Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Mednter which show the virtuoso at the zenith of his powers.
Horowitz, who at the age of eleven met the Scriabin, once described the composer's music as "super-sensuous, super-mysterious, super-romantic. It's all a little bit overboard." The pianist was ideally suited by temperament to play that Scriabin's highly charged, nervous music. Horowitz once described Scriabin's music as "super-sensuous, super-mysterious, super-romantic. It's all a little bit overboard." There have been numerous pianists who have equaled Horowitz's Scriabin technically (most notably Marc-Andre Hamelin) but none have captured the breathless, nervous quality of this music as has Horowitz.
The Scriabin selections were recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in 1972. Part of the success of Horowitz's Scriabin is his clarity, both musical and technical. The pianist adopts an almost structural approach to these works, which runs against the tendency by some others to slather them in Romantic excess. Horowitz uses less sustaining pedal than is customary in these works (as in the stunning Etude in Thirds, Op. 8, No. 10), although one would never think of calling Horowitz's Scriabin "dry." In the later more mystical works, he uses slightly more pedal, but never drowns the work in sustaining syrup as all too many pianists do. Even in Scriabin's most twisted melodic and pianistic contortions, clarity and balance are maintained. Horowitz also manages to produce a stunning fortissimo (as in Vers la Flamme) without hammering the piano to death or throwing the lines out of balance.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful music, masterful performances. July 19, 2001
This disc is a great showcase of Vladimir Horowitz's powers as a performer of romantic music of this period. The Scriabin initially surprised me as not being a typical Horowitzian performance; here, the master's fiery temperament is held back somewhat, making for a more haunting than demonic interpretation. Needless to say, the result is still incredible, but in my view, an even better Scriabin can be found on Horowitz's RCA album.
As far as the rest goes, the Rachmaninoff readings are superhuman in every respect. Horowitz recorded the B-flat minor Sonata three times, and all three recordings are by far the best out there. This particular performance is packed with intensity form start to finish: blinding virtuosity in the outer movements and haunting melancholy in the middle. The most thrilling minute and a half, however, come from the etude-tableau in e-flat minor (he was called "The Tornado from the Steppes" for good reason).
This facet of Horowitz's career is not as celebrated as his early and late periods, but the disc is still quite worth the price.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The sheer amazing virtuosity of Vladimer Horowitz is nowhere more apparent than in the Masterpiece collection. No pianist comes close (possibly the master Rachmaninov only) to Horowitz's adherence to tone, bringing out of all the melody in a piece, and his sheer clarity and brilliance of rhythm. Five stars hardly does him justice!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of the Artist December 11, 2001
The repertoire in this program, particularly the Scriabin, shows Horowitz at his elemental best. Horowitz's principal trait, as former student Byron Janis so aptly puts it, is his "divine inconsistency" - the gift of total nervous control at the keyboard wedded with a prismatic tonal palette. The mercurial soundscapes of Scriabin's etudes mesh perfectly with Horowitz's own flightiness. He whips the "Affannato" Op. 42., No.5 into a storm, the siren line of the arioso borne over volutes of seething bass notes. Amazing!
The second half of the recital is dominated by the blockbuster Rachmaninoff Sonata #2, recorded live in Carnegie hall.The sound is very good. Essential fare for inveterate romantics.
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