Weekend treat: Unpublished Horowitz with Toscanini

Weekend treat: Unpublished Horowitz with Toscanini


norman lebrecht

July 21, 2018


  • Deborah Mawer says:

    Thanks – what year was it from ?

  • Deborah Mawer says:

    Whoops, I saw. 1940

    • Julian Jacobson says:

      I prefer this to the familiar recordperformance. Toscanini seems less aggressive and I don’t find Horowitz exceptionally “inaccurate” – in any case he was never a pianist who went simply for cold note-perfection – only the opening solo is clearly nervous! Much fabulous and fascinating playing. Grateful to have this document!

  • John Borstlap says:

    No wonder that this performance was not published: the many wrong notes did not invite me to listen beyond the 2nd theme of the 1st mvt – it sounds as if Horowitz had his seat placed not quite in the middle of the keyboard.

    Here is an ideal performance:


    • steven holloway says:

      I suspect it was not published because a studio recording was planned for and made three days later, not that that one is much better. Horowitz said in 1987 that neither of the Brahms concertos were his sort of music, and in performing the Second, he and Toscanini were much at odds. Re the studio recording, he wondered why he’d made it.

      Katchen was a fine Brahmsian, though in both concertos I find myself always returning to Solomon with Dobrowen for the Second and his concert performance with the BPO and Jochum for the First.

      • Gerrie Collins says:

        The FIRST time I heard THIS PC was waay back, when – I think – Myra Hess played it with the . . . . .NYC Philharmonic?[!!] Long time ago (maybe in the early 50s, when I was ‘rather’ young. I remember only being very impressed with the *concerto*. [The pianist was ‘unfamiliar’.]

        • steven holloway says:

          If the year was 1951, you can relive that experience. Dame Myra’s concert performance with the NYPO and Bruno Walter has been uploaded twice to YouTube. One is in parts, which can be tedious, but the other is complete in one upload. She was one of those pianists whose recordings rarely reflected how she played in concerts, so this is a treasure. She was mighty powerful pianist, inspired playing for an audience, and so is the performance she and Walter gave that night.

  • Karen Fodor says:

    Tut – applause between the movements.
    DannyBoy (see recent posts) would have hated it !

  • anon says:

    “Toscanini’s genius combined with that of Horowitz’s…”

    “Genius”, now that’s a word that hasn’t been bantered around for a very long time, I don’t think I’ve heard/seen that word used on any living musician in my life time. Not sure it was appropriate even back in the time the likes of Toscanini walked the earth.

  • It was released by Naxos in 1998. Actually the whole May 6, 1940 concert (Brahms Sym No 1, Serenade No 1, PC No 2, incl. a 18 min. rehearsal of the PC.