For most people, Vladimir Horowitz has been dead for the last 16 years or so. For other piano and pianist lovers, he might have been living in our heart and in his piano playing. As for me, he’s pretty much alive for the last couple weeks, till only a few days ago, as I have been reading the book Evenings with Horowitz by David Dubal.
Regardless of the critics on the book and how people not being happy about what David might have written and described, I enjoy it very much. It’s almost like I’ve been visiting Horowitz myself when I’m reading it. Especially when there are things mentioned which I have actually watched or heard, such as the concert in Moscow, and the Last Romantic. I truly feel the presence of Horowitz within all the words in the book.
At the same time, it was a great thing to fill my brain everyday with music and piano materials. In the morning I found out what Scriabin and Chopin were like in those days. Later on I learnt about how Horowitz picked his cadenza for his Mozert concerto No. 23 in A Major. And then read about how aristocratic Rachmaninoff is and the the difficult time he had.
The conversations between Horowitz and David are the kind of conversations that I lack these days. I remember I have done similar things with my last piano teacher, Claudia. Despite the fact that her musical and piano knowledge is at a much higher level than mine, we do have the same level of passion towards the piano. We could talk about and share a lot of things we know, all the time. Those were really great times I had.
I also did feel sympathy for David in a lot of ways. It’s certainly not easy to accompany with someone for a long time. And anyone could imagine it would even be harder with the Horowitzes. And I have to say I appreciate this book and David for sharing his experience with the maestro of the piano.
Next, I guess I’ll get more books on piano, and I’m sure I’d enjoy as much.