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  Sony Classical -
  SS 06371
  Vladimir Horowitz - Chopin, Rachmaninov, Schumann
  Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2, Rachmaninov: Etude-Tableau Op. 33 No. 2, Op. 39 No. 5, Schumann: Arabesque Op. 18

Vladimir Horowitz (piano)
Track listing:
  Classical - Instrumental
  Single Layer
Recording type:
Recording info:
  SRGR711 in Japan.

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 2

Review by JW March 24, 2007 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I recently started a thread on AA about the difficulties of recording piano. One of the responders, someone who posts here as well, alerted me to this disc. I am sure there would be no objection if I steal a quote from that thread because it provides an insight I would not have been able to convey on my own; "The Horowitz SACD with the Chopin Sonata, Rachmaninov Preludes, Liszt Rhapsody etc. is excellent, in my opinion. There is very little residual hiss from the tape. The transfer from analog tape gloriously retains a great deal of the sonic complexity and grandeur of Horowitz's grand playing style"; and further it says "[...] if you like romantic piano music and Horowitz's style, this SACD captures the grandeur and sweep of Horowitz playing in his prime. His interpretation has amazing depth and breadth, penetrating insight and transcendant vision."

Soundwise this is a very well recorded disc. I agree that to a certain extend it cannot match some modern recordings. There are some restrictions to the high-end - I am missing the completely free soaring highs that other SA-CD's can display on my system. It's not as rich as for example Lazic's piano on the Beethoven SA-CD (Channel Classics). The 1958 Van Cliburn recording playing Tchaikovsky has a warmer though less detailed piano sound. Tape hiss is audible but neatly tucked away in the background and certainly not predominant or disturbing to me in any way. Having said all that, this SA-CD has a very believable grand piano sound. To have Horowitz on SA-CD is a wondrous treat.

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Review by Claude April 29, 2006 (3 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I'm a classical music lover but I don't have enough knowledge to judge interpretations, so I'm giving 5 stars based on the reputation of these recordings. I enjoy them a lot.

As to their technical side (recording and transfer quality), they are probably as good as solo piano recordings from the early 60's can be, but there is no comparision with current piano recordings. The dynamics are limited, tape hiss is quite important in soft passages (Chopin's Marche funèbre) and the piano sound is rather flat and cold, although well balanced.

So I would recommend this 45 minute Horowitz recital only for fans who want to have it in best possible sound (although the difference with the current CD versions might not be very important) and to SACD collectors (many Sony single layer SACDs are OOP and will be hard to find in the near future).

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Works: 4  

Frederic Chopin - Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35
Sergei Rachmaninov - Etudes Tableaux, Op. 33
Sergei Rachmaninov - Etudes Tableaux, Op. 39
Robert Schumann - Arabeske in C major, Op. 18