Just as the Rachmaninoff household in the United States strove to reclaim the lost world of pre-revolutionary Russia, Rachmaninoff also sought out the friendship and company of some great Russian musical luminaries. In addition to Chaliapin, he befriended pianist Vladimir Horowitz in 1928. Their first meeting, arranged by Steinway artist representative Alexander Greiner, took place in the basement of New York's Steinway Hall on 8 January 1928, four days prior to Horowitz's debut at Carnegie Hall playing the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto. Rachmaninoff mentioned to Greiner that he intended to attend the concert and had heard positive things about Horowitz's playing of his own Third Piano Concerto. He expressed a desire to accompany Horowitz in a performance of it. For Horowitz the opportunity represented a dream come true. As he described it, "[Rachmaninoff was] the musical god of my youth ... To think that this great man should accompany me in his own Third Concerto ... This was the most unforgettable impression of my life! This was my real debut!"
Rachmaninoff, in a subsequent letter to Horowitz, offered praise and support to the pianist but described Horowitz's tempos in the Tchaikovsky concerto as too fast--"especially the cadenza"[ About the pianist's interpretation of Rachmaninoff's own third concerto, the composer said to Abram Chasins that Horowitz "swallowed it whole ... he had the courage, the intensity, the daring."]
The men remained supportive of each other's work, each making a point of attending concerts given by the other. They regularly gave two-piano recitals at the composer's home in Beverly Hills. The recitals, never recorded, are known to have included Rachmaninoff's Second Suite and the two-piano reduction of the Symphonic Dances.
A Library of Congress photo of Rachmaninoff
In 1940, with the composer's consent, Horowitz created a fusion of the 1913 original and 1931 revised versions of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Sonata. Horowitz remained a champion of Rachmaninoff's solo works and his Third Concerto, about which Rachmaninoff remarked publicly after the 7 August 1942 Hollywood Bowl performance, "This is the way I always dreamed my concerto should be played, but I never expected to hear it that way on Earth.". (Wikipedia)
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