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Sony Masterworks to Release Unprecedented Series of Horowitz Recordings, Documenting Legendary Pianist's Greatest Years as an Interpretive Artist

Sony Music Entertainment - 12/04/2009

Sony Masterworks, in collaboration with the Vladimir Horowitz Estate, presents an unprecedented collection of never-before-available historic recordings, photographs and ephemera highlighting legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz. Focusing on the full range of Horowitz's recordings from the prime of his career, as well as a storied European appearance at age 82, the three extraordinary releases - the 70-CD box set Vladimir Horowitz: The Complete Original Jacket Collection; Vladimir Horowitz At Carnegie Hall: The Private Collection, Haydn & Beethoven; and Vladimir Horowitz: The Legendary Berlin Concert, 18th May 1986 - capture a life-long legacy of spellbinding performances.

A three-part podcast series featuring interviews with Horowitz expert Jon M. Samuels, producer Steve Epstein, and author David Dubal, is also available at, exploring fascinating details of Horowitz's concertizing and the process of selecting and remastering many of these recordings.

"The passage of time has only enhanced the drama, the brilliance and the musical integrity of Vladimir Horowitz's artistry," commented Sony Masterworks General Manager Alex Miller. "The incomparable recordings he made for RCA Red Seal and Columbia Masterworks are together now in the Masterworks catalogue, where they continue to be among our most treasured assets. This year, as the world commemorates the twentieth anniversary of his death, we are particularly excited about the release of several live Horowitz recital recordings - a new perspective on his greatness."

Allan Steckler, Horowitz Estate executor, stated, "What an amazing time for lovers of great music and especially those who thrill to the talents of one of the greatest pianists of recent times. With these comprehensive collections and legendary releases, music lovers and Horowitz fans have a great reason to rejoice."

The jewel in the crown is the 70-CD Vladimir Horowitz: The Complete Original Jacket Collection, assembling all of the pianist's recordings from the prime of his career. All of Horowitz's recordings for RCA Red Seal and Columbia Masterworks/Sony Classical are here, including four discs that feature the first release in any format of two complete live Horowitz recital recordings, from 1951 and 1967. Each recording from the catalogue has been restored to its original LP album format and is presented individually in a sleeve reproducing the original album art. Winner of a near-record 25 Grammy Awards (most of them for recordings found in this collection), Horowitz was an iconic performer; the set, available on December 1, 2009, offers his celebrated interpretations of works by Beethoven, Chopin, Clementi, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Scarlatti, Schumann, Scriabin, and many more.

The critically acclaimed series Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall: The Private Collection continues with the third release (on January 5, 2010) of never-before-available live recordings of the artist in recital in Carnegie Hall during the prime of his career, between 1945 and 1948. Featuring a fascinating, often overlooked corner of Horowitz's repertoire, the current release includes Haydn's Sonata No. 62 for Piano in E-flat Major, as well as Beethoven's Waldstein and Moonlight Sonatas. These live mono recordings were made at Horowitz's behest for his personal use, and donated to Yale University by the artist in 1986, just three years before his death. Originally contained on 12- and 16-inch acetate discs, the recordings have been impeccably remastered for this release, with the sound carefully restored, based on new transfers made from the archival masters in the Yale collection. Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall: The Private Collection is also comprised of two esteemed earlier releases: previously unreleased recordings of Mussorgsky and Liszt, as well as Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and Balakirev. These recordings are part of a specially-branded series entitled Carnegie Hall Presents, an ongoing collaboration between Carnegie Hall and Sony Masterworks to celebrate the venerable concert hall's history of distinguished presentations.

On Sunday, May 18, 1986, the 82-year-old Vladimir Horowitz returned to Berlin for the first time in more than fifty years, performing a historic recital before a sold-out audience. Tapes of the live Berlin radio broadcast of the concert were recently rediscovered in the archives of the old West Berlin broadcasting service, Sender Freies Berlin. Careful remastering of the original analogue sources has resulted in the new two-disc album, Vladimir Horowitz: The Legendary Berlin Concert, 18th May 1986 (to be released on February 2, 2010). Featuring never-before-available performances of works by Scarlatti, Schumann, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Chopin, and Moszkowski, the recital highlights the master on his final, triumphant world tour. The lavishly illustrated accompanying booklet includes previously unpublished photos and documents from the historic afternoon recital.

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