Monday, January 2, 2017

Piano Survivor: January Edition

Welcome to a new year and our next piano survivor listening challenge! Narrowly edging out our long-standing victor this month was our red corner contender:


Both of our December musicians were amazing, and the comments you gave me about these two performances were thoughtful and showed very good listening. Great work!

For our January challenge, our red corner challenger will remain and take on one of the best loved concert pianists of all time, Vladimir Horowitz. We will listen to the piece of music that made me decide at the age of 8 that I wanted to play piano forever! I listened to my parents' recording of Horowitz in Moscow enough times to memorize this piece before I ever played it.

Vladamir Horowitz was born in 1903 in Kiev, Ukraine. He first took piano lessons from his mother, who was also a gifted pianist. He attended the Kiev Conservatory and began touring Europe in 1920. He made his debut performance in the United States in 1928, and his ability to connect with his audiences combined with his amazing technical skill made him a crowd favorite. In addition to his concert performances, Horowitz made a number of popular recordings which are still well regarded today. Horowitz suffered from crippling performance anxiety despite his amazing skill, and several times he had to be pushed onto the stage to perform.

Our performers will be playing Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata in E Major. This piece was originally written for the harpsichord. Although the audio quality of these pieces is different due to the date of their recording, which interpretation do you like the best?

Here is Daniel Barenboim's recording:

And here is Vladimir Horowitz's performance taken from a concert he gave in 1968.

This might be our toughest challenge yet, so listen with ears wide open!

1 comment:

  1. I like the first one. It makes you feel like dancing.