Vladimir Horowitz

Horowitz Plays Scriabin: Remastered

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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 and was swept up in the wave of enthusiasm for his music after the composer's death in 1915. Yet his development as a Scriabin interpreter didn't truly start until the 1950s, when he was among the vanguard of pianists reassessing Scriabin's work, following a period of neglect during the war years. Horowitz became one of Scriabin's most committed and popular interpreters, and his recordings of the sonatas, preludes, etudes, and poems helped to launch the Scriabin revival which continues today. These remastered recordings reflect the audio reproduction of their times, so the monaural recording of the Sonata No. 3 in F sharp minor, for example, is rather compressed and tinny, while the Preludes and the Étude in C sharp minor have a slightly muffled tone. The stereo Columbia recordings are open and cleaner, and the piano's tone is much fuller in these tracks from the 1960s and 1970s. The starkest contrasts of sound quality may be heard on the third disc, which offers two performances of the Sonata No. 9, "Black Mass," where the 1965 rendition is superior to the extremely weak sounding 1953 recording. The historical nature of these recordings may limit the set's appeal, though Horowitz's fans will still get plenty of enjoyment from hearing them.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Piano Sonata No. 3 in F sharp minor, Op. 23
1 6:17 Amazon
2 3:10 Amazon
3 4:41 Amazon
4 5:32
5 0:56
6 1:20
7 1:45
8 0:46
9 1:46
10 1:46
11 0:59
12 0:43
13 2:51
14 1:29
15 1:05
16 1:28
17 2:26
18 0:55
19 1:44
20 1:39
21 1:42
22 1:54
23 2:49
blue highlight denotes track pick