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#1432336 - 05/08/10 03:32 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: babama]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19736
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: babama
I think Richter could have played anything like Horowitz, if he wanted to.

No, he couldn't. smile

Arguably perhaps he played better, depending on your tastes (not by mine), but neither he nor anybody else could play like Horowitz.
Horowitz was an extremely individual thing.

As was Gould.
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#1432341 - 05/08/10 03:37 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Mark_C]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: babama
I think Richter could have played anything like Horowitz, if he wanted to.

No, he couldn't. smile

Arguably perhaps he played better, depending on your tastes (not by mine), but neither he nor anybody else could play like Horowitz.
Horowitz was an extremely individual thing.

As was Gould.


Yes. They were all very unique and I wouldn't want to be without any of them. smile
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#1432344 - 05/08/10 03:44 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: keyboardklutz]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Gould was a dreadful pianist. Very much a creature of his time.


I wouldn't really say dreadful.. He was a genius, but very very strange. Very.
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#1432346 - 05/08/10 03:46 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Phlebas]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: Phlebas

2) Horowitz performed on his own Steinway D almost exclusively, and it had a feather light action.



YES. I got to play on the last Steinway he used in his life, and its action was so incredibly beautiful and light. But also somehow, it had a great, big sound. And you didn't even have to TRY to make legato.. man I really fell in love with that piano.
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#1432387 - 05/08/10 04:22 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Pogorelich.]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2139
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: babama
I think Richter could have played anything like Horowitz, if he wanted to.

No, he couldn't. smile

Arguably perhaps he played better, depending on your tastes (not by mine), but neither he nor anybody else could play like Horowitz.
Horowitz was an extremely individual thing.

As was Gould.

It really depends on their conception of a piece: Richter would not believe a piece would go the same way as Horowitz, they were both unique. However, both had the technique to do whatever they wanted.
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Originally Posted By: Phlebas

2) Horowitz performed on his own Steinway D almost exclusively, and it had a feather light action.



YES. I got to play on the last Steinway he used in his life, and its action was so incredibly beautiful and light. But also somehow, it had a great, big sound. And you didn't even have to TRY to make legato.. man I really fell in love with that piano.

I heard some of his older Steinways, like the one he used in the 1960s had an extremely heavy action, and many technicians were surprised he could play it.
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#1432391 - 05/08/10 04:25 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Kuanpiano]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6114
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano

I heard some of his older Steinways, like the one he used in the 1960s had an extremely heavy action, and many technicians were surprised he could play it.


I've never heard that about Horowitz, but I've heard that Rubinstein liked a very heavy action.
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#1432396 - 05/08/10 04:29 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Kuanpiano]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
[...]
I heard some of his older Steinways, like the one he used in the 1960s had an extremely heavy action, and many technicians were surprised he could play it.


You are confusing him with Rubinstein.
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#1432447 - 05/08/10 05:40 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Horowitzian]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
No. I heard a story from the stand-in pianist who had to rehearse for the filming of the 68 concert. He said the piano was actually very heavy. As did Halim, his last pupil, if I remember rightly (certainly one of his last students if not). Apparently the piano he made his last recording on had a very unusually heavy action.
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#1432451 - 05/08/10 05:44 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
really? Because the one I played on was not heavy at all and it was from the 80s.
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#1432457 - 05/08/10 05:51 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
No. I heard a story from the stand-in pianist who had to rehearse for the filming of the 68 concert. He said the piano was actually very heavy. As did Halim, his last pupil, if I remember rightly (certainly one of his last students if not). Apparently the piano he made his last recording on had a very unusually heavy action.


That goes completely against everything I have ever heard, which was quite the contrary re Volodya's taste in a piano action. Is there some documentation available?

Hank Drake, where are you?
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#1432468 - 05/08/10 06:03 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Horowitzian]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
I heard he got a different piano from that he toured with, right at the end of his life. He only used it on the last recording, I believe. I forget where I read it, but I remember one of his students mentioning how hard the piano's action was to play. Might have been in Dubal's book.
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#1432469 - 05/08/10 06:05 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Ohh that makes a little more sense. So he had different ones for recording and touring? Because the one I played on was definitely the last one he toured with - at least that's what I was told.
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#1432470 - 05/08/10 06:07 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
I heard he got a different piano from that he toured with, right at the end of his life. He only used it on the last recording, I believe. I forget where I read it, but I remember one of his students mentioning how hard the piano's action was to play. Might have been in Dubal's book.


Yes, I remember that now. He initially did not like it, but he grew to love the instrument and was planning to take it on tour. But he died before that ever happened.
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#1432487 - 05/08/10 06:21 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Horowitzian]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
There's actually a quote from de Larrocha I read in a book once where she described having the chance to play one of his pianos and she thought it would be very light, but was surprised to find it very heavy. I don't remember the book and I don't remember when it was that she said she'd played the piano, nor do I know WHICH piano. Hahaha, guess I don't remember much, eh? But I've always remembered reading that, because it surprised me.
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"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

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#1432504 - 05/08/10 06:50 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Pogorelich.]
SeilerFan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 746
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
really? Because the one I played on was not heavy at all and it was from the 80s.


But I've also heard that the action of the Horowitz piano on tour (Is this the one that you played?) is not the same anymore. Steinway changed certain parameters for the tour. Maybe someone more knowledgeable can chime in.

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#1432508 - 05/08/10 06:53 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: SeilerFan]
SeilerFan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 746
Also, let's not forget that an individual feeling of "heaviness" or "lightness" of an action can be brought about through various means. Not all of them involve actual increase/decrease of the lead weights but alteration of action geometry/change of friction/change of hammerheads etc... So, there are measurable results of an action being heavy or light (the actual touch weight), and there are more subjective feelings that are more complex and cannot easily be measured.

To know exactly why Horowitz's piano felt so "light" (which is what is generally believed) we would have to know what was exactly done to the action. let's call up Franz Mohr, shall we?


Edited by SeilerFan (05/08/10 06:54 PM)

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#1432509 - 05/08/10 06:54 PM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: SeilerFan]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
No clue.. Maybe. I should dig out that recording they gave me (i got to record on it! it was awesome) and see what says on the cover.
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#1432776 - 05/09/10 04:19 AM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: SeilerFan]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7797
Originally Posted By: SeilerFan
Also, let's not forget that an individual feeling of "heaviness" or "lightness" of an action can be brought about through various means. Not all of them involve actual increase/decrease of the lead weights but alteration of action geometry/change of friction/change of hammerheads etc... So, there are measurable results of an action being heavy or light (the actual touch weight), and there are more subjective feelings that are more complex and cannot easily be measured.

To know exactly why Horowitz's piano felt so "light" (which is what is generally believed) we would have to know what was exactly done to the action. let's call up Franz Mohr, shall we?


Exactly. Actions may be described as "heavy" when the more accurate term would be "unfamiliar". I remember once experiencing a Baldwin that I thought was extremely heavy at first, but after getting used to it after a few weeks, it seemed well within the usual range of touch. I just had to learn how to play it, that's all.

I think having other people give their impression of a Horowitz piano is a little bit silly unless they had quite a bit of time with it.

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#1432814 - 05/09/10 06:20 AM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: wr]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
But who would describe any piano with a big dynamic range and low key-weight as heavy? A light action feels heavier when you stuggle to get sound out of it. That would not have been the case on Horowitz's pianos. I'm perfectly willing to believe that he did not always use a light action. Seasoned pros are so used to different pianos that they can make the adjustments you describe in no time. You may have needed to develop a little extra muscle and agility to become comfortable. But I don't think Alicia De Larrocha would have had that problem.
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#1432848 - 05/09/10 08:59 AM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
yhc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/04
Posts: 150
Loc: NYC, NY
I've read somewhere that Anton Rubinstein played with flat fingers, and he taught that to Blumenfeld, and Blumenfeld taught that to Horowitz.

Besides the flat fingers, his use of pedals, touches, the colors created are much more fascinating.

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#1432855 - 05/09/10 09:20 AM Re: Horowitz' Technique [Re: wr]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19271
Loc: New York City
Exactly. Actions may be described as "heavy" when the more accurate term would be "unfamiliar". I remember once experiencing a Baldwin that I thought was extremely heavy at first, but after getting used to it after a few weeks, it seemed well within the usual range of touch. I just had to learn how to play it, that's all.

I think having other people give their impression of a Horowitz piano is a little bit silly unless they had quite a bit of time with it.[/quote]I think one's first impression of an action's lightness/heaviness may be more meaningful. After a certain amount of time many pianists can adjust or get used to to an action's feel as long it is not at an extreme end of the spectrum.

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