The remaking of Murray Perahia

The remaking of Murray Perahia


norman lebrecht

October 14, 2016

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

What a difference a label can make. All his adult life, ever since he won the 1972 Leeds Piano Competition, Murray Perahia has recorded exclusively for Columbia Masterworks, known now as Sony Classical after a Japanese takeover. In a fragmenting record industry, Perahia’s was among the last label loyalists. CBS/Sony engineering was the sound by which he was known.

It began as a natural fit – New York pianist with New York label, joined at the hip by Vladimir Horowitz who admired Perahia above all young pianists. But Perahia moved to London and, over time, developed a sound that was rounder and softer than the Sony trademark. Sony, too, turned aggressively less classical, out for the quick crossover buck. Perhaia’s sensitivities were cut adrift and divorce became inevitable.. It cannot have been easy to negotiate since this release, Perahia’s debut recording on Deutsche Grammophon, was made in Berlin in July 2013. It has taken more than three years for the project to overcome legal and commercial objections.

Now read on here.

And here.



Or here.


  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    A legacy recording. More to come, for sure. A pianist for our times, inspiring, mentor, sublime musician.

  • La Verita says:

    The chronology is off here, and a few tweaks are in order: The original architect of Perahia’s sound on CBS Masterworks was the producer Andrew Kazdin – and for many years Perahia refused to work with any other producer – much to the chagrin of CBS, who had fired Kazdin in 1979 for making a Mehta/NYPO recording in analog rather than in digital. So, CBS was forced to hire Kazdin for Perahia’s recordings. Also, Perahia had settled in London permanently by 1973, but he didn’t start his lessons with Horowitz until about 1985 or so.

  • Ross says:

    If you read Perahia’s interviews, it seems that this idea of him being Horowitz’s protege, or deeply influenced by Horowitz, has been exaggerated by music journalists for decades.
    Two phenomenal artists, with very little in common.

  • George King says:

    He ‘remakes’ himself with an album of music not written for the instrument on which he plays it, ignoring vast swathes of repertoire equally deserving of his attention.

  • Gene Gaudette says:

    Prior to recording as an exclusive Columbia Masterworks -> Sony artist, Perahia recorded chamber music at the Smithsonian for Turnabout.