When Moscow asked Horowitz to come back from his European tour in 1927, to represent the USSR in a piano competition in Poland, the piano superstar refused. He didn’t want to run the risk of having to go back to his mother country. In 1939 he settled in the US, and he got citizenship in 1944.
More than 40 years later, there was an atmosphere of detente between the USSR and the US. The two remaining superpowers were tired of the Cold War. So a visit by Horowitz to his native country was fitting. In 1986 Horowitz went on a tour to Moscow and Leningrad.
Most tickets were given or sold to the apparatchiks of the Party, with some left for the general public. Moscow Conservatory members were crashing the concert, which is noticeable on the television broadcast. On this recording they were cut out, I suppose, as I don’t hear them.
Horowitz continued to make recordings after this, but he died at 86 in November 1989. He is buried in the Toscanini family tomb in Milan, Italy (he was married to the daughter of the conductor Arturo Toscanini).
As not impressed about the Rachmaninoff recording I wrote about earlier, so impressed am I with this one. The recording quality is really good, and the performance really shows why this is such an admired pianist.