Monday, 15 December 2014

Book Review - The Recorded Legacy of Vladimir Horowitz

Photo with 'Recorded Legacy of Vladimir Horowitz' author, Jun Kinoshita
I often call pianists of my age the 'Horowitz Generation'.  I grew up listening, watching, and reading about Vladimir Horowitz; my parents weren't using Mozart as a ruler for pianistic excellence, but Horowitz.  In our modest collection of recordings at home, Horowitz' far out-numbered any other pianists.  

At Juilliard, I sat in David Dubal's class.  Mr. Dubal is well-known far and beyond for his radio programme, his encyclopedic knowledge of the piano repertoire, as well as his association with Vladimir Horowitz.  
His 'Evenings with Horowitz' was probably the first book on music I have read outside of required readings, and if asked, Horowitz would have been the one pianist I wanted to meet in person.  I am through and through a product of the Horowitz Generation.

I have since amassed a collection of records, mostly LPs.  I consider myself only a passive listener, seldom venturing beyond the disc into the history behind it, while many music-lover friends would go deep into a pianist's discography.  

Last month (November 2014) a new book has come out trumping all previous published materials, online and off, on Horowitz' legacy preserved in recordings.  Compiled by two music lovers and record collectors (one of whom gave me the book) this contains the most comprehensive information of Horowitz in every recorded media, from LP to cassette to laser disc to CD, from old concert programmes to newspaper clippings to books on Horowitz.  Every jacket cover is represented here in full detail, and great efforts go into comparing discs released in different countries.  Texts are in Japanese, but charts and tables are easy to understand, so are the index and appendices. The book is divided by recorded medium (45s, 78s, LPs, CDs, videos, books, magazines, etc.) and further subdivided by studio or label (EMI, RCA, CBS, etc.).  Discs are listed with their album matrix number, which help identify your own collection or discs you are looking for.  There is a long section on different periods of Horowitz' concert and recording career, which is readable in Japanese only.  Original newspaper clippings are included, and even different printing/editions/languages of books on Horowitz are listed out, including their covers.  This is truly a trophy find for the Horowitz generation.

431 pages in full colour, and comes with a fold-up poster of all record covers.  Volodya would love to see this, and I am sure even Wanda would approve.  Available on Amazon Japan for 9,720 yen, or 66 euros by today's conversion, this is one indispensable item for your library. 

我通常稱我這個年紀的綱琴家為「霍洛維茨的世代」。霍洛維茨的錄音、錄像及關於他的書本一直倍伴著我們成長,甚至連我的父母都用霍洛維茨而不是莫扎特去作好壞的準則。現在,在我家裏的個人收藏中,霍洛維茨的錄音的數量遠比任何一位的鋼琴家都要多很多!

在茱莉亞上學的時候,我上了David Dubal 的課。Dubal 先生除了主持他十分有名的電台節目外,他亦著名於擁有像百科全書一樣的鋼琴曲目知識以及他與霍洛維茨的連系。他的書「Evenings with Horowitz」有可能是我自己選讀的第一本音樂書藉。


我想我絶對是「霍洛維茨的世代」的產物。如果可以的話,霍洛維茨會是我希望可以親身會面的一位鋼琴家。


我一直都有收藏錄音的習慣,而當中大部份都是黑膠唱片,但是我認為自己是一個被動的音樂聆聽者,因為我很少去追查每一張唱片背後的歷史及故事。


上個月 (2014年11月) 一本記錄了霍洛維茨的錄音遺產的書面世了,這本書並遠遠超越了之前所有的出版。這本書由兩位音樂愛好者兼錄音收藏家撰寫,裏面詳盡地介紹了霍洛維茨的每一項錄音及資料,並從黑膠片錄音帶到現代的鐳射唱片、從很久以前的演奏會曲目到剪報書藉都一一囊括了。內文不但包含了每一個外殼封面,它還仔細地比較了在不同國家出版的分別。雖然內文是用日文撰寫,但書內的圖表、索引、附錄是大家都可以明白的。作者在書中先以出版的媒介去作劃分,如45、78、雷射唱片、錄像、書籍、雜誌等,其後再以出版商區分,如EMI、RCA、CBS等等。書內介紹的專輯都附有每張專輯獨有的區別碼,所以你一定可以在書中找到你自己擁有的珍藏。書中還用了一個長的篇幅以日文去介紹霍洛維茨於不同時代的演出及錄音生涯,以及當時不同版本不同語言的剪報,這本書怎能不令霍洛維茨迷愛不釋手?



這本書一共有431頁,全彩色印刷,並附有一張列有所有唱片封面的摺頁海報。此書在日本亞馬遜網站有售,售價9720日元,相等於今天的650 港幣。這本書將會是你私人圖書館裏面不可或缺的一本書。















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