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Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 / Vladimir Horowitz [VHS] (1999)

 NR |  VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • VHS Release Date: August 15, 1995
  • Run Time: 44 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303607942
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,860 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Piano virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz performs Rachmaninoff's piano concerto no. 3 with Zubin Mehta leading the New York Philharmonic. Recorded September 24, 1978, this performance is Horowitz' only video of his favorite work.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Rachmaninoff Third on Video March 25, 2000
This performance, taped in 1978, is the last time Vladimir Horowitz performed the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto in his lifetime. By this time he had known the work for nearly sixty years.

This performance was taped a few days before Horowitz's 75th birthday, but I would defy anyone to guess his age hearing only the audio portion. Naturally, he can't mount all the technical hurdles quite as superhumanly as could when he was 40. But, I have never witnessed a greater performance, either in concert or on video.

Horowitz's intimate knowledge of this wonderful concerto is evident throughout every bar. There is something magical about the phrasing, the tone, Horowitz's mastery of "the big line", an art which transcends merely putting the right finger in the right place at the right time. Horowitz was a notoriously self-critical artist, and he was courageous enough to change his interpretation over the years: only his later performances of the Rachmaninoff Third are played without the difiguring cuts favored in earlier years.

Zubin Mehta, a sympathetic accompanist, is to be credited with supporting his soloist (who was known to never play the same piece twice in quite the same way) and securing fine playing from the New York Philharmonic.

The videography is more than adequate and the mono sound is well balanced in this difficult to record concerto.

I know of no greater Rachmaninoff Third on video.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent May 9, 2003
By Alex
This is not Horowitz's best reading of the Rach 3, but it is still considerably better than any other pianist. If I understand correctly, this was the second half of a concert, the first half having consisted of a solo recital by Horowitz. For some reason the first movement is a little nervy. There are some memory slips and a few smudges, but after mopping his brow at the end of it Horowitz settles down nicely in the second and third movements. The playing is really very good, although one sees the point that Rubinstein made when he watched this live telecast that the conductor "poor Zubin Mehta" had to work hard to follow Horowitz's varying tempi. While there are some wonderful moments in this performance, there are also some dreadful ones, particularly the octaves at the end of the third movement where orchestra and soloist are painfully out of sync. However, the camera work is first class and some of the close-ups of the Horowitz's fingers are fascinating.
To sum up, an excellent recording, not Horowitz's best but very enjoyable and fascinating to watch. Also, there are no cuts in this performance. Horowitz's practice (and Rachmaninoff's) was to cut some sections out of the 2nd and 3rd movements, but here is one of the very few Horowitz recordings of the whole composition.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't get any better than Horowitz--- September 23, 1999
By A Customer
While some people tend to rate performances on merely technical accuracy or brilliant showmanship/camera work, I like to look more into the spirit of the performance. True, Horowitz had a reputation of being a little sloppy in his 'live' playing, but that's really beside the point. It only serves to show that he's one of us -- human. I especially enjoyed this video because it is a wonderful chance to see the virtuoso at work on absolutely the most incredible piece of the Romantic period. He plays it so efforlessly and calmly, without excessive or showy movement. That's one of my favorite things about him. Those who are bothered by technical inaccuracies whether they be musical or video-related, need to take a step back and appreciate that we even have any recordings of him. Today, in the midst of all this incredible technology, we sometimes get a little too picky for what we "approve of." Anyone could touch it up one way or another, but the true performance comes with the little things that go wrong and make it real. (I'll get off my soapbox now).
Definitely a good flick. I recommend it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! BUY IT! June 27, 2002
By A Customer
The first time i listened and watched this tape of my favorite pianist i was a little disappointed, but then i realized that i needed to turn up the volume. I did just that and have already watched the tape 4 times in last 36 hours. It really helps to turn up the volume. The sound is more clear and the piano much more defined. Trust me the sound quality is not horrible or just good like some have said, its great! Of course a CD of the performance would be much better, but the visuals are just as stimulating. At 75 Horowitz could play anything in the piano repetoire with good ease. For the other reviewer to say that he was technically inept and poor in executing the piece is just plain ignorant. Horowitz plays the piece both with ease and genius. This is a great buy and excellent piece of work, BUY IT!
... this was no poor performance, this was musical brilliance in piano.
Very exciting, very beautiful, great sound, great visually, and above all it features a great pianist.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for your library !! May 5, 1999
By A Customer
The cameras could have focused much more on the keyboard. If you are a stickler for technical details, then good luck in your search, you will need it. Taking his age into consideration, Vladimir gave an incredible performance. I sure hope I can play like that when I'm in my seventies. I can't understand why more videos like this one haven't been made.
Overall, a wonderful tribute to Rachmaninov, Horowitz and the monumental Rach III. Quite a rare find on video, especially for a young viewer who may be searching for one of the last true definitions of romanticism.
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