“KING OF KINGS OF PIANISTS” VLADIMIR HOROVITS
The 20th century can be called the century of the great pianists: Paderevsky, Hoffman, Rachmaninoff, Richter, Rubinstein, Kempff … The list is endless. But over all these geniuses, for the common lover as well as for the professional music historian, another name towers – Vladimir Horowitz.
It is he, and no one else, is rightly considered a symbol of pianism of the XX century. He became an unsurpassed performer of contemporary Russian classical music, introducing works by Sergei Prokofiev to the American public. This is recognized even by its detractors. You can not love Horowitz, but you can not recognize his exclusivity.
About Horowitz wrote a lot. The style of his performance, called “Gorovitsiansky”, critics considered “too pretentious.” He was called “the most unpredictable musician of our time”, “the genius of communication”, “an electric charge of 6000 volts”, “the king of pianists of all times.”
Vladimir Horowitz is represented in the world music encyclopedia as an American pianist, but the future virtuoso was born in Kiev on October 1, 1903. It was in Ukraine that he was formed as a person, received a musical education. Articles and studies, pianist Vladimir Horovitsk, as a rule, are devoted to his life and work after 1925, that is, after his move to Western Europe. Very little is known about the Kiev period. But the most interesting are the sources of the formation of the great pianist’s mastery. After all, Horowitz is a representative of one of the most powerful performing schools in the history of pianism.
The first lessons that Vladimir received were given to him by his mother. However, when Vladimir was 12 years old, everyone, and even himself, thought that the next composer was growing, but not the pianist, who would turn the world upside down and stay on top for almost 70 years. In 1912, when Horowitz was 9 years old, he began studying at the Kiev Conservatory with Sergei Tarnovsky and Felix Blumenfield. Horowitz can not be called self-taught, but at the same time, no master could not give him the skill that he received in the process of self-improvement. Vladimir discovered his unusual musical talent at the age of ten, when he learned by heart all the works of Wagner.
In 1917, the Horowitz family, quite wealthy, lost everything, including the piano. But Vladimir pianist Vladimir Horovits continued to study at the conservatory, giving concerts in order to earn money for life for himself and his relatives. Two years later, Horowitz graduated from the Conservatory, performing the Rachmaninov Third Piano Concerto as a graduation piece — an extremely complex and at the same time interesting work that fate would have to deal with more than once.
The first listeners of Horowitz were the people of Kiev, as well as the Kharkiv and Odessa public. And then he had a fantastic success in Moscow and Leningrad. When Vladimir left Kiev forever, he was already an established pianist, and abroad he made a brilliant career. The first concert Horowitz outside the Soviet Union was held in Berlin in 1926. In one year, he gave 69 concerts during a European tour, which earned him enormous popularity.
Enough fun began his career in Europe. The piece that made him known to the general public is Tchaikovsky’s famous First Concerto. It happened this way: in Germany, in a hotel, pianist Vladimir Horovitsso went to an unknown performer and offered to replace the woman – the soloist, who suddenly felt ill. “Can you play in two hours?” Asked Vladimir. Horowitz agreed.
Without any rehearsal, the pianist came into the hall. The conductor was the venerable musician Eugene Pabst. They talked a little about the tempo of the performance, and the conductor, not really hoping for a good evening, just asked the pianist to follow the orchestra. The success was mad. The stunned audience applauded while standing …
Vladimir and Vanda Horowitz wife Wanda
In 1933, Horowitz married the daughter of the world famous conductor, Vande Toscanini. Since then, the musician has adopted the American aristocracy in his circle. At his request, a special grand piano was created, Picasso and Degas paintings appeared in his private art collection, and many more things that only a few could afford. He had everything … except for his family.
His mother died shortly after his departure from the Soviet Union, and his father was sent to the gulag as the father of the “enemy of the people.” To the end of her life, his beloved sister Regina modestly taught music at the Kharkov Conservatory, although Vladimir recalled that she was an even better pianist than himself. Sad news from his homeland, and, in addition, the feeling that the surface American public is not able to understand the intrinsic value of the music he played caused Vladimir to be depressed.
After the silver jubilee of 1953, Horowitz stopped concert activity for 12 years and made only a few recordings during this period. And his triumphant return took place on the Carnegie Hall stage in 1965.