Sony Classical Celebrates the 100th Birthday of Piano Legend Vladimir Horowitz With First-Ever Unedited CD Release of the Grammy-Winning Recording of His Legendary 1965 Carnegie Hall Return Concert

Horowitz Live And Unedited - The Historic 1965 Carnegie Hall Return Concert Includes Bonus DVD With 10 Minutes of Never-Before-Seen Outtakes From Film Vladimir Horowitz: The Last Romantic

New Three-CD Set In The Hands Of The Master - Vladimir Horowitz: The Definitive Recordings Also Released On September 30

Film Society Of Lincoln Center To Screen Four Horowitz Films, Plus Theatrical Premiere of 10-Minute Horowitz Outtakes, At The Walter Reade Theater October 1-3, 2003


On October 1, 2003, the music world will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Horowitz, the 20th century's most acclaimed pianist and the last of the true Romantic masters of the keyboard. Sony Classical will mark the anniversary with the release of Horowitz Live and Unedited - The Historic 1965 Carnegie Hall Return Concert, the first-ever unedited release of the historic live recording of Horowitz's 1965 concert at Carnegie Hall. Complete on two CDs, the set will also include a bonus DVD with 10 minutes of never-before seen outtakes from the film Vladimir Horowitz: The Last Romantic.

In addition to this landmark restoration, Sony Classical will release a three-disc set entitled In the Hands of the Master - Vladimir Horowitz: The Definitive Recordings. It includes classic Horowitz stereo recordings of solo works by Beethoven, Chopin, Clementi, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Scarlatti, Schumann and Scriabin, all recorded between 1962 and 1989. This collection was newly compiled and produced by Thomas Frost, who won four of his Grammy Awards for producing Horowitz recordings between 1965 and 1987, including the 1965 Carnegie Hall recital recording. All titles will be released on Tuesday, September 30, 2003.

The Horowitz centennial will also include a three-day film festival from October 1-3 at The Film Society of Lincoln Center, featuring four films that chronicle the final years of the pianist's fabled career - Horowitz: The Last Romantic, Horowitz Plays Mozart, Horowitz in Moscow and Vladimir Horowitz: A Reminiscence, as well as the theatrical premiere of Horowitz Outtakes, the new 10-minute film. The films will screen twice daily at The Film Society's Walter Reade Theatre. (See schedule on separate page.) On October 1, a panel discussion will follow the evening screening, in which several of the filmmakers, record producers and artists [to be announced] who were affiliated with Horowitz will participate. For complete information, go to

Horowitz: The Last Romantic and Horowitz Plays Mozart will also be broadcast back-to-back in a centennial tribute to Horowitz October 5 on PBS/WNET Channel 13.

The uncut, unedited release of the 1965 recital redresses the controversial editing out of mistakes in the legendary recording that was released following the historic performance. Peter Gelb, President of Sony Classical, who managed Horowitz's career in the final years of his life and who also produced the four programs that will be shown at Lincoln Center, commissioned the new CD release. "Horowitz often told me that his live performances, although never note-perfect, represented the pure spontaneity of his art more faithfully than his recordings ever did," Gelb said. "And yet apparently in this case he couldn't resist the idea of putting out anything less than a note-perfect recording, even though substantial doctoring was required. We are therefore pleased to offer Horowitz fans the true performance for the first time."

Horowitz's 1965 Carnegie Hall recital was one of the most dramatic concerts of its time, in which the pianist returned to public performance after an enigmatic 12-year sabbatical, during which his reputation and mystique only grew. The sudden announcement of the concert -- less than two months before its May 9, 1965 date -- was international news. Fans camped out around Carnegie Hall on the rainy, windswept night before tickets went on sale. Horowitz even sent his wife to visit the fans, and she ordered hundreds of cups of coffee from the corner deli to keep them warm.

The concert more than lived up to its expectations, and the "live" recording Columbia Masterworks was rush-released in a deluxe double-LP set a few weeks later, while the news of Horowitz's return was still in the air. The recording went on to win no less than three Grammy Awards in 1966 -- Classical Album of the Year, Best Classical Performance by an Instrumental Soloist Without Orchestra, and Best Engineered Classical Recording.

Though it was advertised as a live recording, the original LP release of the recital included a number of unacknowledged edits to correct errors and imperfections in Horowitz's playing, enhancing the legend of his note-perfect control in live performance. These edits have always been the subject of controversy, especially since every aspect of the performance seemed engraved on the memories of those present. Sony Classical's new edition of the live recording is the actual unedited performance that the audience heard on May 9, 1965. It returns to the original, unexpurgated source to restore the literal (and no less remarkable) sound of Horowitz's playing -- mistakes and all -- on that memorable afternoon.

Grace Row, who produced the restored recording of the 1965 recital, went back to the original three-track analogue tapes, using a backup set of reels that had been archived immediately following the concert and were found to be in pristine condition. The latest digital restoration techniques and DSD technology were employed in a full remix and remastering of the tapes.

In this new centennial edition (S3K 93023), the concert recording is packaged with a bonus DVD featuring 10 minutes of never-before-seen footage from Vladimir Horowitz: The Last Romantic, with Horowitz talking and playing the piano in his home. The repertoire from the Carnegie Hall recital is as follows:

   Bach/Busoni    Toccata in C Major
   Schumann       Fantasia in C Major, Op. 17
   Scriabin       Piano Sonata No. 9, Op. 68 Black Mass
                  Poeme in F-Sharp Major, Op. 32, No. 1
   Chopin         Mazurka in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 30, No. 4
                  Etude in F Major, Op. 10, No. 8
                  Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23

   Debussy        "Serenade for the Doll" from Children's Corner
   Scriabin       Etude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 2, No. 1
   Moszkovski     Etude in A-flat Major, Op. 72, No. 11
   Schumann       "Traumerei" (No. 7) from Kinderszenen, Op. 15

Russian-born Vladimir Horowitz (1904-1989) was one of the most acclaimed pianists of the modern age, a formidable virtuoso whose inimitable artistry and technique were rooted in the grand Romantic tradition. Horowitz's flamboyant personality and charisma only added to the mystique created by his performances. His long career, which began in the West with his departure from the Soviet Union in 1925, lasted right up to his death in New York in the fall of 1989.

Horowitz enjoyed one of the longest and most distinguished recording careers in classical music during the 20th century, winning a total of 25 Grammy Awards. Between 1962 and 1975, he recorded exclusively for Columbia Masterworks, the forerunner of Sony Classical, a period in which he made definitive stereo recordings of the solo literature most closely associated with him -- most notably, the music of Chopin, Schumann, Scriabin, Scarlatti and Rachmaninoff. (The pianist returned to the label, after it became Sony Classical, shortly before his death.) In addition to the two new commemorative collections, an additional 12 titles from Horowitz's Sony Classical catalogue will be re-released on September 30.

All of the Horowitz recordings will be featured on Sony Classical's Web site at

SOURCE: Sony Classical

CONTACT: Carol Della Penna, +1-212-833-7479,; Angela Duryea, Shuman Associates,
+1-212-315-1500,; Graham Leggat, Film Society of Lincoln
Center, +1-212-875-5416,

Web site: