Vladimir Horowitz - Horowitz Plays Scriabin (2015) [3CD]
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According to the astute Russian musical and cultural historian, Solomon Volkov, Alexander Scriabin’s death in April 1915 precipitated a mass-fixation which has no precedent or equivalent. This Scriabin intoxication extended far beyond the musical sphere and permeated every sector of Russian cultural life – even Tchaikovsky never registered such a broad impact. It was in this charged climate that Vladimir Horowitz, born in 1903, was raised. Horowitz’s family had longstanding ties to the musical elite in Kiev, and it was through these connections that Horowitz was introduced to Scriabin’s music and to the composer himself. Horowitz came to his mastery of Scriabin through a confluence of circumstances. In 1965 he explained that, by the time he retired in 1953, he had grown tired of “modern” music and sought to return to the “romantic” and “classical” composers, like Scriabin, that he had known during his childhood.
The performances on Horowitz Plays Scriabin, a newly remastered 3-CD set, document a trajectory from 1950 to 1976, both with regard to the Scriabin repertoire Horowitz selected and to his powers of interpretation. Horowitz’s admonition that “I will grow until I die!” is most tangibly confirmed by the stark difference in his two live recorded performances of Scriabin’s Ninth Sonata, often known as the “Black Mass,” from 1953 and 1965. Horowitz heavily favored the latter.
This three-CD package from Sony Classical consists of Vladimir Horowitz's studio recordings of the piano music of Alexander Scriabin, recorded between 1950 and 1976 and previously issued by RCA Victor and Columbia Masterworks, along with several live recordings.
As a young pianist in Russia, Horowitz met Scriabin.
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