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possibly?

sped up
6 (50%)
no, its real
6 (50%)

Total Members Voted: 12



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Topic: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!  (Read 2203 times)

Offline stevie

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horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
on: September 17, 2005, 10:39:46 PM
a big dispute between me and a friend, i think its so obviously sped up...

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #1 on: September 17, 2005, 11:00:25 PM
Sped up i would say.

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Offline da jake

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #2 on: September 17, 2005, 11:02:33 PM
Sped up.

Look at his head, neck, shoulders.
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Offline TheRach

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #3 on: September 18, 2005, 12:44:37 AM
Yeah, it's sped up. The rest of his body motions are also unusually fast.

Online perfect_pitch

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #4 on: September 18, 2005, 02:32:45 AM
Anybody happen to have a video clip of him playing this etude??? So i can judge for myself???

Or at least an MP3???

Offline rob47

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #5 on: September 18, 2005, 03:19:48 AM
randomly its probably because its such an old film they didnt have the technology down to capture every frame so these minor skips give the illusion of it being "sped up"
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Offline brewtality

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #6 on: September 18, 2005, 07:02:28 AM
I thought that the Horowitz and the Cortot 10/1 footage seemed to be sped up.

Offline arensky

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #7 on: September 18, 2005, 07:28:59 AM
It's real. Listen to his early rcordings of octave passages such as the Chopin 4th Scherzo, near the end of the Liszt Sonata, end of the Chopin "Black Keys" Etude op.10 #5, Dohnanyi Capriccio in f minor, Paganini/Liszt Etude in Eb. Then compare the speed, phrasing and velocity of these recordings to the film. You'll "see" that the film matches the phrasing and groove of the young Horowitz.
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Offline chromatickler

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #8 on: September 18, 2005, 11:55:12 AM
It's real. Listen to his early rcordings of octave passages such as the Chopin 4th Scherzo, near the end of the Liszt Sonata, end of the Chopin "Black Keys" Etude op.10 #5, Dohnanyi Capriccio in f minor, Paganini/Liszt Etude in Eb. Then compare the speed, phrasing and velocity of these recordings to the film. You'll "see" that the film matches the phrasing and groove of the young Horowitz.
unlikely. the chromatic octaves at the end of the liszt sonata (which someone uploaded earlier) is nowhere near this speed. in the video he sustains a average speed of slightly above 12 octaves per second (less than 6 seconds for the first 6 bars). in the liszt sonata ending he plays 8-9 octaves per second. the 10/5 ending is even slower than that. the fastest horowitz double octaves i've heard is in the tchaikovsky concerto mvmt3 cadenza, and that is just 10 per second at its fastest. another thing to keep in mind is that the 25/10 is not an easy octave piece. take the gavrilov studio recording, which is the fastest i know. gavrilov takes 38seconds for the A section with more or less uniform speed, and the first 6 bars takes 9 seconds as opposed to horowitz's 6. this difference is statistically ridiculous.

btw, a possible explanation for the sped up video could be incompatible frame rates.

Offline maxy

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #9 on: September 18, 2005, 04:45:32 PM
unlikely. the chromatic octaves at the end of the liszt sonata (which someone uploaded earlier) is nowhere near this speed. in the video he sustains a average speed of slightly above 12 octaves per second (less than 6 seconds for the first 6 bars). in the liszt sonata ending he plays 8-9 octaves per second. the 10/5 ending is even slower than that. the fastest horowitz double octaves i've heard is in the tchaikovsky concerto mvmt3 cadenza, and that is just 10 per second at its fastest. another thing to keep in mind is that the 25/10 is not an easy octave piece. take the gavrilov studio recording, which is the fastest i know. gavrilov takes 38seconds for the A section with more or less uniform speed, and the first 6 bars takes 9 seconds as opposed to horowitz's 6. this difference is statistically ridiculous.

btw, a possible explanation for the sped up video could be incompatible frame rates.

spoken almost like a true SDC dude.  ;D

Offline arensky

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #10 on: September 18, 2005, 05:20:43 PM
unlikely. the chromatic octaves at the end of the liszt sonata (which someone uploaded earlier) is nowhere near this speed. in the video he sustains a average speed of slightly above 12 octaves per second (less than 6 seconds for the first 6 bars). in the liszt sonata ending he plays 8-9 octaves per second. the 10/5 ending is even slower than that. the fastest horowitz double octaves i've heard is in the tchaikovsky concerto mvmt3 cadenza, and that is just 10 per second at its fastest. another thing to keep in mind is that the 25/10 is not an easy octave piece. take the gavrilov studio recording, which is the fastest i know. gavrilov takes 38seconds for the A section with more or less uniform speed, and the first 6 bars takes 9 seconds as opposed to horowitz's 6. this difference is statistically ridiculous.

btw, a possible explanation for the sped up video could be incompatible frame rates.

"Just" 10 seconds at it's fastest? (Tchaikovsky). Well, if he can do 10 a second it's a short step to 12. 10, 12, this is splitting hairs. It's obvious it's really *** fast, and probably the musical effect was atrocious; he's mugging at the camera, showing off his hands,  not really paying attention to the piano (sound like anyone we know from now)  :) . I don't think this was altered; silent films of musicians have never been, well, a big hit... no reason to soup up something that only has value for wonks like us. Why would the Art of the Piano people doctor this clip to enhance the reputation of a dead pianist who is already a legend? No, their money went to slow it down so we could watch his pinky curl...

There are stories of the young Horowitz showing off that are unbeliveable, read the David Burge interview in Dubal's "Remembering Horowitz", supposedly Horowitz could play a chromatic scale bottom of the keyboard to the top faster than someone else could play a white key glissando! Now this, I grant you, is VERY unlikely. He was probably playing so fast, with such velocity, that no one noticed the notes he skipped... But the Chopin Etude film is not sped up. Movie cameras in the 1920's captured things like that; Chaplin used this flaw to create his trademark tramp walk.
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Offline chromatickler

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #11 on: September 18, 2005, 09:44:32 PM
"Just" 10 seconds at it's fastest? (Tchaikovsky). Well, if he can do 10 a second it's a short step to 12. 10, 12, this is splitting hairs. It's obvious it's really *** fast
of course it is. horowitz had one of the best octave techniques in the history of pianism. this part is without doubt. i use the word 'just' in comparison to the video clip however, as i do think there is a significant difference between reaching 10 per second over 15-20 octaves (the average speed in the tchaik cadenza is around 9ps) and sustaining an average speed of 12 per second over 70 octave, or much more presuming he played the whole A section.

i also don't believe the speeding up was on purpose. like i said, it's possibly some technicality to do with very old films.

Offline arensky

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #12 on: September 19, 2005, 02:37:08 AM
i also don't believe the speeding up was on purpose. like i said, it's possibly some technicality to do with very old films.

Oh, I thought there was some sort of Zapruder film conspiracy theory afoot...

Now, none of you are going to believe this, and I'm not going to record it or post it, but...

I did it twice this morning, played the first two measures (12 notes) in a single second. Sounded like sh*t! Wasn't very clean, but I did it ! I don't reccomend it, it took 20 minutes for my wrist to calm down...
 :P
Has anyone clocked Barere's Islamey or Schumann Toccata? Or some of those live Cziffra performances? Or the Lango ? This is the worst sort of anti-music piano jock garbage, but it's fun... :-[ ;D
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Offline chromatickler

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #13 on: September 19, 2005, 07:06:48 AM
I did it twice this morning, played the first two measures (12 notes) in a single second. Sounded like ***! Wasn't very clean, but I did it ! I don't reccomend it, it took 20 minutes for my wrist to calm down...
 :P
a few things:

1. how exactly did you time yourself? as i believe neither the human brain, nor any manually operated stopwatch can accurately measure speed within a 1second interval. you would have to have recorded yourself onto your computer and analysed the file to be accurate to the 0.1sec (for most media players). if so, it would have been sensible (and very easy) for you to upload this small sound bite in support of such a claim.

2. i have no doubt you can assume an octave position with your hands, go spastic and smudge a series of notes in the approximity of the written ones, and do it all within a second. which again is why the sound file would have been extremely helpful in determining the validity/usefulness your claim.

3. i have no doubt horowitz could pull off the first bar in one second, fairly cleanly, given a few attempts. that is 12 consecutive octaves. 70 consecutive octaves is a complete different matter.

4. that video actually shows a lack of economy of motion for that kind of speed (ie large up/down in/out mvmts of the hand, wrist). meaning that if it was real, he isnt at his maximum (note per second) speed judging by his movements. which makes it even more ridiculous with respect to the speed we observe in other horowitz recordings.

5. there is actually a trick-octave technique that allows speeds of up to 14 "octaves" per second in chromatic playing. this technique can be easy/difficult to learn depending on the player but either way it is rather cheap. horowitz does not use this technique.

Offline arensky

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #14 on: September 19, 2005, 07:53:12 AM
a few things:

1. how exactly did you time yourself? as i believe neither the human brain, nor any manually operated stopwatch can accurately measure speed within a 1second interval. you would have to have recorded yourself onto your computer and analysed the file to be accurate to the 0.1sec (for most media players). if so, it would have been sensible (and very easy) for you to upload this small sound bite in support of such a claim.

2. i have no doubt you can assume an octave position with your hands, go spastic and smudge a series of notes in the approximity of the written ones, and do it all within a second. which again is why the sound file would have been extremely helpful in determining the validity/usefulness your claim.

3. i have no doubt horowitz could pull off the first bar in one second, fairly cleanly, given a few attempts. that is 12 consecutive octaves. 70 consecutive octaves is a complete different matter.


1. I was watching the second hand of the studio wall clock, as I always do for  = 60.
2. My computer is on the other side of the house from the studio, and my recording equipment is not hip. Nor did I want to spend a lot of time on this, I just wanted to see if it could be done; it can. I hit the notes, I did not approximate them, although as I said initialy the results were not artistic.  Try it; let your wrists go limp (the hard part )and keep 4 and 5 in contact with the keys, and go. Sure Hororwitz could do this, certainly Cziffra could, and probably Barere and Lang Lang. And you.
3. Yes, I am no Horowitz; 12 is my limit. I believe he could do this piece at the filmed tempo, but he was an artist, not a mechanic; in the film he is showing off, knowing he will not be heard. He would not have played this fast for a microphone or audience. But he could have.

I heard and saw him play this Etude in 1983, it was the infamous "Horowitz on Drugs Tour", and most of his playing that night was horrendous. The bright spot, Chopin Etudes op.10 #8 in F, op.25 #10(our subject) and op.25 # 7. He missed notes, a lot of his work was a whole or half step off, but these wrong notes were perfectly together and laser clean. The tempo of the b minor Etude was not as fast our film, but was quite fast, with no hint of difficulty in the execution, played from the wrist, with more full body motion than he usually exhibited, resembling a lethargic copy of the film, absent the silent film jerkiness present in all pre-sound film.

Try it; if you're not worried about the sonic result (Horowitz certainly isn't, it's a silent film, he's grinning ear to ear) it will happen. And if one works at something long enough, evantually the walls will crumble. Do you believe the legend of Alexander Dreyschock playing the "Revolutionary" Etude LH in octaves at tempo? Now THAT makes me wonder....

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Offline chromatickler

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Re: horowitz on art of piano chopin 25/10 octaves, SPED UP?!
Reply #15 on: September 19, 2005, 11:22:51 AM
i just realised this has been an unusually patient and informative discussion, by pianostreet standards. please check your message box  8)
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