At another time Mr. Horowitz said: "I am a 19th-century Romantic. I am the last. I take terrible risks. Because my playing is very clear, when I make a mistake, you hear it. But the score is not a bible, and I am never afraid to dare. The music is behind those dots. You search for it, and that is what I mean by the grand manner. I play, so to speak, from the other side of the score, looking back."
The Evolution of a Myth
Into Mr. Horowitz's late 70's and early 80's--when he made a heavily publicized and carefully orchestrated comeback in the concert world--he retained the ability to extract colors of either extraordinary brilliance or extraordinary delicacy. In his concert appearances during the 1920's and 30's, Mr. Horowitz's ability to create excitement in whatever he did on stage made him an almost mythical figure--a status only enlarged by his personal eccentricities and flair for attracting public attention.
Even his frequent retirements from performing had a romantic appeal to mass audiences. A man known for the frailty of his nerves, Mr. Horowitz quit playing in public four times--between 1936 and 1938, from 1953 to 1965, from 1968 to 1974 and from 1983 to 1985. This seemed only to sharpen his public's appetite. When Mr. Horowitz did play, he drove a hard bargain: his personal piano from his
living room accompanied him; concerts were at 4 P.M. and only on Sunday.
Advance teams redecorated his hotel rooms to make him feel less estranged from
the comfort of home; his own food was cooked to his taste. Manhattan
Mr. Horowitz's last withdrawal from concert life came after a series of uneven performances in the early 1980's--ones which he subsequently blamed on overmedication. But in the last four years of his life, he became virtually a one-man industry in the concert business--with a much-publicized tour of the Soviet Union, performances in Europe and America, all linked with compact disk recordings, videotapes, television programs and films. His return to
Moscow and in 1986, after a 61-year absence,
became a major media event reported around the world. Leningrad