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Horowitz's fame...undeserved? (Read 2284 times)

Offline cziffra

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Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
« on: October 04, 2003, 12:18:04 PM »
every pianist knows the name horowitz, and sometimes i really wonder why...i'm not doubting that he is a world class pianist but...why is he so much more famous than everyone else?  what did he do that was so special?

i was born long after his time so i'm at a bit of a loss as to how he weaved his spell- i've seen videos and heard recordings and, yes he's good, but he doesn't match with his hype.

i suppose it would be impossible for anyone to match up to that hype, but my question is, how did he get the hype in the first place?
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #1 on: October 04, 2003, 04:08:04 PM »
Because his technique was extraordinary and so was his musicality (not to mention he was also an expert transcriber). He was also extremely charismatic, which helps,
Ed

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #2 on: October 06, 2003, 04:30:40 PM »
While there are several pianists that I would submit are overrated, I definitely would not place Horowitz in that category.  Here's a highly subjective list of those pianists which I consider UNDERrated:

Nelson Friere--known usually as Argerich's 2nd piano buddy, I'd quite frankly pay to hear him play, not her.

Jorge Bolet--unfortunately, he got famous when his playing declined and it's difficult to find his great recordings (live especially) from the 60's-70's.

Cziffra--He could do much more than just play Liszt really fast.

Emil Gilels--Everyone seems to talk about Richter and somehow neglect Gilels, strange.

Anton Kuerti--alas, his recordings only give an indication of the fire he can conjure up during a live performance.

Byron Janis--always seemingly in Horowitz's shadow, he was a formidible pianist in his own right, the 60's Mercury recording attest to that.

Ernst Levy--not a household name, but an artist of astounding depth and originality.

Vladimir Sofronitsky--was never allowed to cross the Iron Curtain.  Son-in-law of Scriabin; when he was on, no-one played Scriabin better.

 
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline Noah

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #3 on: October 06, 2003, 04:42:15 PM »
Quote

Nelson Friere--known usually as Argerich's 2nd piano buddy, I'd quite frankly pay to hear him play, not her.

>:(

what don't you like in Martha Argerich ?

I don't think Horowitz's fame was undeserved. Though I've never seen him live, he apparently had that power to have people on the edge of their seats. Very few pianists have that today (and I believe Argerich is one of them). You can feel that special thing when you listen to his live recordings.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #4 on: October 06, 2003, 05:45:49 PM »
Another addition to the list:


John Ogden--I assume he has a larger reputation in the UK.  A titanic pianist with a capital "t", and a tragic life.
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #5 on: October 06, 2003, 07:43:50 PM »
Nelson Friere--known usually as Argerich's 2nd piano buddy, I'd quite frankly pay to hear him play, not her.

:o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o
Sorry that was bit excessive...
You are right about John Ogdon though, I am a big fan. Have you read "Virtuoso"?
Ed

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #6 on: October 07, 2003, 03:05:29 PM »
 I've been meaning to read that book.  Is it out of print?  I seem to recall it was written by his wife, yes?
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #7 on: October 08, 2003, 12:48:32 AM »
All I know is it is all about Ogdon and my teacher is going to lend me a copy  :D,
Ed

Offline saramisha

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #8 on: October 09, 2003, 10:47:12 PM »
I never realized how great Horowitz was just by listening to CD's, but when I saw him on videotape I was mesmerized!  His ability to create such a wide range of sounds while hardly moving a muscle is amazing.  He doesn't do the showy arm flipping techniques, but he grabs you with understatedness.  If you haven't seen a video of his, go check one out at the library.  Truly amazing.
I also know of an amazing female pianist who toured with Horowitz, but wasn't signed on with big producers and she felt like it was because she was a woman.  That may have something to do with it.
But overall I think Horowitz is AMAZING!

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #9 on: October 09, 2003, 11:11:43 PM »
Quote

I also know of an amazing female pianist who toured with Horowitz, but wasn't signed on with big producers and she felt like it was because she was a woman.  That may have something to do with it.


What was her name?
Ed

Offline iainphil

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #10 on: October 12, 2003, 08:18:38 PM »
Is the female pianist you refer to perhaps the Hungarian Sari Biro?

JohnOgdon

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #11 on: October 13, 2003, 04:04:56 PM »
Horowitz is famous because he (at least in the beginning) produced some of the most fantastic performances that exist of just about everything he played. All his recordings pre 1936 are absolute gems, yes even haydn e flat sonata or other works with which he is not paerticularly associated. He was an amazingly great pianist back then, unfortunately he turned into a bt of a crowd pleaser as the years progressed, but his fame and reputation initially stems from the unsurpassed artisitic achievements of his first years. Of course, he produced many other fine performances throughout his life, but to my taste nothing quite equals with his earliest stuff.

Offline trunks

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #12 on: April 18, 2004, 01:27:00 AM »
Horowitz the pianist was one of the best, and deserved his name, this I have to admit. Horowitz the musician, however, is something I would consistently say no no.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline Motrax

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #13 on: April 18, 2004, 04:50:03 AM »
Horowitz is quite a pianist! But more importantly, he was a musician in the respect that he didn't qualm at the idea of adding things to a piece to make it his own. I saw a recording of him playing Moszkowski's 6th Etude (or 5th... the one in F major). He added quite a few notes which are most definitely not in the piece, especially at the end. For me, this is a very good thing, as I believe music should be much more flexible, even to the point of adding a few extra notes here and there.

Olga Kern (winner of the Van Cliburn... 2 years ago? My memory's foggy today) is the most incredible pianist I've ever seen. I've never held my breath at a performance before, and never since. She played Rachmaninoff's Variations on a Theme of Corelli, among other things, and it was absolutely stunning.

"I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play." --  Artur Schnabel, after being asked for the secret of piano playing.

Offline donjuan

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Re: Horowitz's fame...undeserved?
«Reply #14 on: April 18, 2004, 08:00:49 AM »
Horowitz's fame is obviously deserved - otherwise he wouldn't have been so poopular.  He had power over an audience.  Horowitz was unique in that he could play a single note, and an audience would listen for as long as they could.  Others have tried to copy Horowitz's playing, but virtually none are successful.  Horowitz's fame is also well deserved because he would never perform a piece the same way twice.