An Article on Vladimir Horowitz in Grove Dictionary (1980) 8/22/11

August 22, 2011

I was reading the book “the Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays” by Richard Taruskin, and found a very interesting essay about Horowitz and Tchaikovsky. In this essay, he quotes an article on Horowitz in Grove Dictionary from 1980. I am lucky to still own this old version of Grove Dictionary (Paper Copy!!). 20 valums of Grove Dictionary were my very good friends when I was doing a doctoral program at Rice University. I did not need to go to the library every day. I guess I never knew of this extreme article of Horowitz. His article is in pages 722 to 723 in volume 8 written by Michael Steinberg. Throughout the article, we can sense the author’s bitterness toward this great pianist. The article ends ” Horowitz illustrates that an astounding instrument gift carries no guarantee about musical understanding.” I could not find a proper way to respond to this article. What is this!! How Horowitz stands in our music and piano history is amazing. His contribution to the music world is beyond we can think. All of us have a preference to the music and the musicians, but that should be different from writing biography in the trusted music dictionary. I understand when the new version of Grove came out Horowitz article was re-written by a great music author Harold Schonberg.

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