Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Vladimir Horowitz: At The White House (1978)

Vladimir Horowitz performs at the White House, a guest of President Jimmy Carter & First Lady Rosalynn Carter, on February 26, 1978; he is playing in the East Room.

Piano Street’s Classical Piano Blog writes about this performance:
Horowitz at the White House is one of Horowitz’s relatively few authorized appearances on video and one of only four TV broadcasts. Recorded and Broadcast on PBS in February 26, 1978 – live from The White House, Washington. President Carter invited Horowitz to perform at the White House early in his Presidency and Horowitz agreed during his Golden Jubilee year, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his American debut.
Horowitz was invited to the White House to play for President Hoover as early as in 1931, and in 1933 he married Wanda Toscanini — the daughter of the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini, who would soon conduct Horowitz and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of the Beethoven piano concertos. Horowitz permanently settled in the United States in 1940 and achieved citizenship in 1944. In 1986 Horowitz was invited by President Reagan anticipating Horowitz’s return to Russia (after 61 years) and Moscow concert which politically was seen as a part of the ongoing “perestroika”.
I have written a post about the famous Moscow concert (of April 20, 1986), having remembered seeing its original broadcast, when I could not take my eyes off the screen. I purchased the CD when it was released later on in the year. This concert is equally compelling, but for different reasons; when Horowitz is at the top of his game, when his fingers magically glide over the keys, he has few equals on the piano.

With that said, here is the concert playlist:
  1. 0:05:19–Horowitz: The Star-Spangled Banner
  2. 0:07:14–Chopin: Sonata No.2 in B-flat minor, Op.35 
  3. 0:33:22–Chopin: Waltz in A minor, Op.34, No.2 
  4. 0:39:34–Chopin: Waltz in C-sharp minor, Op.64, No.2 
  5. 0:43:44–Chopin: Polonaise in A-flat major, Op.53,“Héroïque” 
  6.  0:51:24–Schumann: Träumerei, Kinderszene No.7 
  7.  0:54:51–Rachmaninoff: Polka de W.R 
  8.  0:59:29–Horowitz: Variations on a theme from Bizet’s Carmen

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