A remarkable, up close and personal documentary about Vladimir Horowitz (on You Tube)

A historic, 50 minute-long, Maysles made film gives a unique glimpse of the pianistic legend as he records Mozart concerto no. 23 (A Major) under the baton of Guilini (personally selected)

In between movements, Volodya schmoozes with the page turner, fawning journalists, plus an assortment of friends, hero-worshippers, whose conversations are permeated by off the cuff, sometimes awkward remarks. In one exchange, Horowitz bounces off a comment made by an attractive woman who likes his tie. Within earshot and well beyond, the celebrated pianist insists that the lady favors the tie over his playing. It’s a motif that endures repetition along with anecdotes that are cataloged in Horowitz’s personal memory archive.

A bit of ego massaging is intrinsic to the documentary, and one senses how the artist craves the adulation he’s rightly earned.

Working the room peopled with admirers, his manager, Peter Gelb, orchestra members, his wife, et al, Horowitz exclaims, “I’m the oldest person here!”

One zealous music critic asks Maestro about his relationship to Mozart. Horowitz responds he’s “number one,” my favorite. And then he sputters off with a recollection of Casals saying, “play Mozart like Chopin, and play Chopin like Mozart,” that tickles the crowd of devotees.

Not to forget, Horowitz’s impromptu renditions of his favorite movements by the Classical master. While playing the opening to Mozart’s Bb Piano sonata, in a recording session break, he insists it’s better than the A Major Piano Concerto.

Throw into the mix, Peter Gelb, personal manager, Guilini, a stately, mild-mannered, modest fellow, and sarcastic, brooding Wanda (Toscanini)and the repertory company is deserving of a special Oscar in a unique category of its own.

Naturally, the playing is compelling— noteworthy for its Classical and Romantic flair that will live on as pianists come and go. In the technical realm, I watched Horowitz tuck in the pinky of his right hand while playing rapid passage work, and I observed how he fleshed out voices (especially the bass) that most would ignore.

At the conclusion of the concerto’s first movement, Horowitz shouts, “only one false note!”

It epitomizes a candid view of the pianist in a rare cinematic form.

In summary, this wonderful video should not be missed!

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
This entry was posted in classsissima.com, documentary on Vladimir Horowitz, Maysles documentary, piano, Vladimir Horowitz, Volodya, word press, word press.com, you tube, you tube.com and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s