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#2018102 - 01/21/13 12:43 AM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: carey]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: carey
....Seriously - why else would he do it ??

Well yeah! grin
But I wondered when you said "we'll never know Horowitz's motivation for doing this"....

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#2018141 - 01/21/13 02:21 AM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
carey Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: carey
....Seriously - why else would he do it ??

Well yeah! grin
But I wondered when you said "we'll never know Horowitz's motivation for doing this"....


I had more time to think about it. cool
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#2019063 - 01/22/13 01:44 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
jdott Offline
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Registered: 01/17/13
Posts: 34
Loc: Colorado, USA
Mark, I'm not sure why you think it's obvious that he did it for effect. His live performance I referenced at Lincoln Center was not very good-lots of mistakes, and he was several years older when that video was made in Moscow. No disrespect to Master VL intended; he was just at the end of his career. When you get older, you'll discover that you lose flexibility and need to conserve your strength more. I AM glad, though, that a few of you found my comments entertaining.

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#2019144 - 01/22/13 04:03 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: jdott]
carey Offline
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Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: jdott
When you get older, you'll discover that you lose flexibility and need to conserve your strength more.


Do you mean older than sixty something?????? grin
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#2019164 - 01/22/13 04:54 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: carey]
jdott Offline
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Registered: 01/17/13
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That's exactly what I mean.

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#2019185 - 01/22/13 05:34 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: jdott]
carey Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: jdott
That's exactly what I mean.


Great - that means its probably downhill for me from now on.....

Fortunately, I can still get through the Opus 53 just fine..... smile


Edited by carey (01/22/13 05:35 PM)
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#2019195 - 01/22/13 05:59 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
jdott Offline
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Me too, but I'm pretty sure Horowitz was at least 80 when that video was made.

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#2019219 - 01/22/13 06:33 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: jdott]
Mark_C Offline
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Seems to me that the image of Horowitz and what he was is fading. I think that to those of us who were around for any amount of his lifetime, the idea that he left out those few notes near the top of the LH scale for anything except effect is fairly unthinkable, and the fact that some people wonder about it seems unfathomable.

I'm not saying this would apply to any and all such changes that he might have ever made. I can imagine at least the possibility that some of them might have been to make it 'easier' to play or (at least at some points in his very late years, but not at the time of this performance) to "conserve energy." But this particular thing?? Absolutely not. Look at what it is, for chrissake ha -- a straight scale. And look at what else he does in this performance. Does it seem like he's anywhere close to running short on energy? Is it not the case that he does play lots and lots of other things in the piece that are much harder, from any standpoint, and much more taxing of energy?

The answer is yes. The idea that he did it for anything but to achieve a desired and original effect is (sorry folks) smile ludicrous.

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#2019282 - 01/22/13 08:16 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
jdott Offline
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Posts: 34
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Mark, let's be objective-that wasn't a very good performance. I've got a lot of his recordings from the 1930's to present, and when I noticed a change it was adding notes and/or difficulty to a piece. As several people said, we'll all never know; we should just enjoy his legacy

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#2019313 - 01/22/13 09:12 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
Derulux Offline
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I've now done some research on this to be able to comment appropriately. For those who don't know (I didn't before looking it up), this concert took place on June 1, 1987. It was one of the last appearances Horowitz ever made; the last public recital occurring on June 21, 1987, just 20 days later. Horowitz died 2 years and 5 months after this performance.

The Polonaise was the final piece he played of an 80-minute program, though he played three encores after.


It is unfortunate that I was never able to see Horowitz live. The first live classical concert I saw was just a couple years after his death. However, in reading much about his final years as a performer, it seems well-documented that, in his 80's, he substituted finesse and coloring for bravura. I wouldn't say he was completely incapable of technical feats. As Mark points out, there are many difficult feats surrounding those scales that he accomplished with seemingly little effort. Indeed, the scale itself-- if he can play the first three octaves without a problem, undoubtedly he could have played the last four notes.

So, I tend to lean on the side that this was for coloration.. a desired effect that, for whatever reason, he chose. It seems to me, in listening, that it makes the very top of the scale a little clearer, that it "rings out" a little better when the other notes drop out. Was Horowitz less mobile and hence unable to lean over, as suggested, in order to bring this out while playing both hands? Possibly not. He still played the top note in the left hand. Was it his use of pedal that made him decide to drop those few notes in favor of a certain clarity? Possibly. There's a thousand reasons why he might have decided to drop those notes. But I don't think any of those reasons start with the fact that he couldn't finish the scale of which he'd already played three octaves..


What I do find amazing is that Horowitz made between $650,000 and $750,000 (in today's money) on that one concert date (ticket receipts). You'd think for $750k, he could have played the extra four notes.. laugh
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#2019322 - 01/22/13 09:25 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: jdott]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: jdott
Mark, let's be objective-that wasn't a very good performance.

Oy.

In fact, double oy. grin

I don't pretend to be "objective" about any such thing, but as best I can tell you, this was an extraordinary performance.

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#2019332 - 01/22/13 09:46 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Online   content
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Mark, I have to admit.. if I close my eyes I can't even notice the 'effect'.

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#2019334 - 01/22/13 09:48 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Joel_W
Mark, I have to admit.. if I close my eyes I can't even notice the 'effect'.

So?

(I can.) grin

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#2019341 - 01/22/13 10:06 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Offline
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Wherever Horowitz is now he would be laughing at this thread. Majoring in minoring.

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#2019667 - 01/23/13 01:40 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
Hank Drake Offline
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I also noticed this when Horowitz in Moscow came out on VHS. Years later, I was able to obtain a copy of the 1978 White House recital - and darned if he doesn't do the same thing there. (The difference is that in 1978 he plays the scales faster and with less pedal - likely as the East Room of the White House is different acoustically from a concert hall.) So, I pulled out my old Horowitz records and listened to them at 16rpm (where you can hear each note - although the pitch is off) and he was doing the same thing back in 1945.

Based on that, I concluded that VH did this to "drive the point home" on that final b-flat, making the scale into a crescendo - which is not easy to do on an upward run.

One may approve of the cheat Horowitz devised or not. But it's definitely NOT a concession to old age.
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The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
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#2019981 - 01/23/13 10:59 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Hank Drake]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: Hank Drake
....pulled out my old Horowitz records and listened to them at 16rpm (where you can hear each note....

That was my first ever tech trick. smile

And it was Horowitz that I used it on -- trying to figure out how he did some of what he did.

The main piece was Chopin's C# minor Mazurka, Op. 30 #4. It wasn't fingerwork wizardry I was trying to figure out, it was his magical rhythms. The way he played this mazurka seemed to defy any quantifiable rhythms, and in fact before I saw the sheet music I couldn't imagine how it was notated. Although, all I had to do was listen to just about anybody else's recording, and the rhythm was obvious. Even after getting the score and working on the piece myself, I still couldn't figure out exactly what he was doing with the rhythm. Then I realized I could do this trick you mentioned.

And doggone, when I slowed it down by half, the rhythm sounded just about exactly normal, i.e. just like it's written and how other people play it. So it remained a mystery. More recently, somehow or other I sort of got the hang of how he did it and kinda sorta kinda could do it.

BTW I think it was our banned (or maybe just 'inactive') member "PartyPianist" (who I suspect has been back under "another" identity -- 'another' being in quotes because it's really the same identity ha ) who posted a recording of this mazurka that was an excellent imitation of the Horowitz, if we forget for the moment about the recording quality, and professed not to know anything about Horowitz's recordings. grin

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#2019995 - 01/23/13 11:26 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Hank Drake]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
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Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Hank Drake

Based on that, I concluded that VH did this to "drive the point home" on that final b-flat, making the scale into a crescendo - which is not easy to do on an upward run.

One may approve of the cheat Horowitz devised or not. But it's definitely NOT a concession to old age.


There are at least two studio recordings where he didn't feel the need to "drive the point home". Since he did it live, he may have had another reason to 'cheat'.
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#2019996 - 01/23/13 11:27 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Damon]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Triple oy. smile

Something that's gotten lost here is, what he did isn't a technical facilitation. It's a complication. It doesn't make it easier to play the passage. It makes it harder.

I'm sure people could say, 'maybe it's harder for you, what makes you think it was harder for Horowitz.' I don't really; I think it wasn't hard for him either way, from a strictly technical standpoint. But I'm saying that it appears that in general, for human beings grin it would seem to be harder this way. For what it's worth, I tried it a few times this way. It's dam hard to coordinate, and I found it very hard to do. In fact, I couldn't really do it and realized that it would take an awful lot of work to have a chance to make it work, consistently and reliably.

Anybody who doubts that, try it yourself! smile
And remember, it's not just a thing of 'playing the notes.' You have to do it fluently and with some 'effect.'

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#2020251 - 01/24/13 10:39 AM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
carey Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Triple oy. smile

Something that's gotten lost here is, what he did isn't a technical facilitation. It's a complication. It doesn't make it easier to play the passage. It makes it harder.
.......Anybody who doubts that, try it yourself! smile
And remember, it's not just a thing of 'playing the notes.' You have to do it fluently and with some 'effect.'

I tried a few months ago - and failed miserably. grin
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#2020537 - 01/24/13 04:23 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
FSO Offline
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Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
Composers are not slave drivers; people say there are "degrees" to which you are "allowed" to interpret a piece...but, um...the very nature of saying such is in and of itself admitting that the line of allowance may be different for everyone. I mean, um, unless I'm very much mistaken, Chopin himself encouraged improvisation and individuality within his (and others') music; I see no wrong in Horowitz (who I must say isn't my favourite pianist) carrying out this wish. Who amongst us hasn't added the eighth below here and an unwritten ornament there? I don't know, maybe you haven't laugh But, um, I'm sure (without doubt laugh ) Horowitz was just trying to play the piece how he, at the time, *felt* it should be played...if that's the case...fair enough, right?
Xxx
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Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2020584 - 01/24/13 05:11 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
ando Online   content
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Registered: 11/23/10
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As somebody who trained in advanced classical guitar, I find it amusing how bent out of shape pianists get about changing notes here or there. In the guitar world, yes even the virtuosic classical world, it is pretty much accepted that all guitarists engage in some level or personalisation of pieces. Sometimes it's a tonal thing, sometimes it's to flesh out the harmony a bit more, sometime notes are omitted to permit better voice leading or ease of chord changes. Guitarists accept that composers are fallible and there are sometimes ways to enhance what they were aiming for. This seems to be far more contentious in the piano world. Piano seems to adopt a certain competitive aspect such that it almost feels like musical olympics. I don't advocate messing with the harmony or melody lines in classical works, but minor things like a doubled note, an omitted tone in a chord etc, for it's no big deal at all. I appreciate such individuality.

For me, this thread is the very definition of a storm in a teacup.

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#2020608 - 01/24/13 05:41 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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double post


Edited by pianoloverus (01/24/13 07:06 PM)

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#2020610 - 01/24/13 05:42 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Loc: New York City
The degree that some posters go to repeat their ideas over and over again and insist they are right about such a minor matter almost beyond belief. Sometimes PW makes the United States Congress
look highly functional in comparison.

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#2020654 - 01/24/13 06:50 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark_C Offline
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We add to things when we can.

Some people, like you, apparently would like to subtract. grin

As I pointed out a few weeks ago and as hopefully you have noticed, I have been trying to be friendly and supportive to your posts whenever possible, despite your hostility and continued hostility. I hope that eventually you will be able to respond in kind.
Just leaving me alone would be fine too.

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#2020662 - 01/24/13 07:04 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
We add to things when we can.

Some people, like you, apparently would like to subtract. grin

As I pointed out a few weeks ago and as hopefully you have noticed, I have been trying to be friendly and supportive to your posts whenever possible, despite your hostility and continued hostility. I hope that eventually you will be able to respond in kind.
Just leaving me alone would be fine too.
You said the same thing about 20 times in this thread...often repeating yourself several times in a single post. You continually said that an opinion other than the one you have were just wrong. I don't think many like having conversations like this where one person hogs the conversation and is endlessly repetitive.


Edited by pianoloverus (01/24/13 07:38 PM)

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#2020712 - 01/24/13 08:37 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: pianoloverus]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5352
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
The degree that some posters go to repeat their ideas over and over again and insist they are right about such a minor matter almost beyond belief. Sometimes PW makes the United States Congress
look highly functional in comparison.

I don't think anything can make Congress look functional.. except maybe an episode of Honey Boo-Boo.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2020776 - 01/24/13 10:08 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
carey Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

As I pointed out a few weeks ago and as hopefully you have noticed, I have been trying to be friendly and supportive to your posts whenever possible, despite your hostility and continued hostility. I hope that eventually you will be able to respond in kind. Just leaving me alone would be fine too.


Ah, the love-fest continues !!! You guys live in the same city. Why not get together for coffee ?? You might actually like each other !!
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#2020780 - 01/24/13 10:14 PM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: carey]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19845
Loc: New York
Not in person we wouldn't, but hopefully on here we can coexist. grin

In real life, we gravitate toward or away from people by good instinct, according to how we mesh or not. On the net, we're together with people we wouldn't ever get involved with in real life. It's one of the great things about it, but also one of the challenges.


edit: John's post (below) made me realize that this didn't come out how I intended it. I didn't mean we meet only such people on the net; I meant also.


Edited by Mark_C (01/25/13 02:33 AM)

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#2020854 - 01/25/13 01:35 AM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: Mark_C]
John Pels Offline
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Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1264
Loc: Tomball, Texas
" On the net, we're together with people we wouldn't ever get involved with in real life. It's one of the great things about it, but also one of the challenges."

Mark, I take issue with this statement. I tend to accumulate friends,many dating back to grade school. I am involved with sports cars as much as things piano and have since accumulated what have proven to be some of my closest friends by way of the internet. These various groups tend to throw like-minded people together and you will meet and interact with many folks that 15 years ago, you simply couldn't have come in contact with. Naturally there is a weeding out process, but I wouldn't be so inclined to discount it.

As to VH's performance, I tend to agree with you. For the assertions of less than adequate facility in his later years, that's balderdash. If you read some of the bios, there are quite a few assertions of prescription drug overuse and also a less than adequate practice regime. If you are able to watch the performance of the Rach.3 with Mehta there are some dastardly sections that he literally flies through cleanly and effortlessly and others maybe less so, but musically fabulous. Though for instance the early performances of the concerto are more technically satisfying, I wouldn't trade them for five minutes of the later performance. For Funerailles or the 6th Rhapsody, give me the early stuff! Was that old "Homage to Liszt" album ever remastered?

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#2020866 - 01/25/13 02:04 AM Re: Just discovered this 'cheat' that Horowitz does.... :-) [Re: John Pels]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19845
Loc: New York
John, my post must not have been clear, because I agree with everything you said, 100%. In my attempt to be brief (and I think you can understand why I would have wanted to make such a post brief), I was unclear. I didn't mean that on the net we come into contact only or mainly with un-like-minded people or people that we wouldn't meet or be drawn to in real life; I meant also. The multitude and breadth of whom we meet and interact with on the net (and sometimes, relatively rarely, whom we can't help interacting with, which is the main difference I meant) is extremely enriching, but in some instances it's also (as I gently put it) a challenge.

BTW my introduction to online forums was on a car site.
For quite a while it was the only thing I did on the computer except for eBay and Amazon.

About "Homage to Liszt": I still have my vinyl. smile
Dunno if it's been remastered, and I never check on things like that, because I wouldn't prefer them to the old vinyl. If anything, I wish modern CD's and the like were done on old vinyl. ha

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