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(Mar 31, 2002)
This film offers an intimate portrait of one of the most compelling and elusive personalities of the 20th Century - in private performance and conversation. This program includes an actual recital in Horowitz's home as well as some revealing scenes with Horowitz and his wife, Wanda Toscanini. The concert portion of the program, which features performances of works by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin, is unique because of the access granted by the Horowitzes during the filming: the filmmakers were literally inches from the piano, capturing the pianist in action with remarkable intimacy. Audio playback options are 5.1 dolby digital and non-compressed stereo.
In this celebratory documentary, acclaimed sibling filmmakers Albert and David Maysles (Salesman, Grey Gardens) give us a fascinating chance to see legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz from an intimate perspective. The movie was filmed during a 1985 recording session in the artist's New York studios, a venue that allows the camera marvelous access to examine closely the flurry of Horowitz's fingers across the keyboard and his wonderfully expressive face as it keeps time with the music, registering in turn intensity, rapture, childish delight. All the while Horowitz's wife, Wanda Toscanini, looks on lovingly. Between performances, the two rest on a couch and share reminiscences of Rachmaninoff, Scriabin (who wisely advised the 10-year-old virtuoso to educate himself in all cultural matters, not just music), and Maestro Arturo Toscanini himself. On one wall of the elegantly furnished apartment-style studio hangs a beautiful Japanese screen portraying a soldier and his horse leaping across a chasm, suspended in midair; Horowitz himself seems just as much to float, unbounded by the gravitational tug of age (he was 81 at the time). His playing is as strong as ever, whether deftly maneuvering the glassy trills of Mozart's Sonata in C, K. 330, or powering his way through an energetic reading of Chopin's Scherzo No. 1. All the music is wonderful, of course; no less so is the film's fond portrait of the man who made it. --Bruce ReidSee all Editorial Reviews
Towards the end of his career as a pianist as well as his life, Horowitz's playing reached such peaks of wisdom and beauty that it defies any attempt at description and ultimately... Read morePublished on March 6, 2007 by Mauro Guzzo Decca
I don't wish to submit a full review of this, other than to say that because of who Horowitz was, this is a valuable document.
I did want to agree with A. Read more