Chancelucky

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Greatest Pianist in the World (fiction) Vladimir Horowitz-Art Tatum, etc.





This story is now up at Lacuna Journal











link to some Tatum bio materials

Other fiction on this site

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16 Comments:

At 1/19/2006 08:36:00 PM, Anonymous pogblog said...

Fabulous piece. Comes very close to swing . . .

 
At 1/20/2006 08:25:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Thanks Mr. Pogblog. Still straightening out some of the paragraphs, but I don't tap my foot while reading it.

 
At 12/20/2007 12:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic story, but why should I believe any of it?

 
At 1/07/2008 09:39:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

anonymous,
many thanks for reading and commenting. I don't know that you have to believe any of it. It's fiction.

 
At 3/23/2008 08:17:00 AM, Blogger Greg said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/04/2008 04:45:00 PM, Blogger jolweiss said...

Also avoiding the compelling fever to bid anew on eBay, I found your delightful text.
Se non è vero, è bene trovato...
Beautiful essay: First you betrayed Horowitz family's confidence; now, you betray yourself, saying that it's fiction... Greetings from Brazil!

 
At 8/04/2008 05:04:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Jolweiss,
many thanks for reading the story. I confess, there's a lot in the story that is accurate, though there's no evidence that any tie between Tatum and Horowitz ever went beyond saying "hi" in a bar.

I know it's what the Internet does, but it's still a thrill to have a reader in Brazil.

 
At 8/12/2008 03:13:00 PM, Anonymous JFA said...

It's terriffic! Just great. So you now have a reader in Poland as well.
;-)

 
At 10/03/2008 11:06:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

JFA,
many thanks for taking the time to read and comment...It made my week...
and Poland no less.

 
At 11/02/2008 09:05:00 PM, Blogger John2375 said...

What absolute drivel and disrespect to Mr. Horowitz. Anyone who ever knew ANYthing about him knows this is the most absurd piece of crap ever written. First, get your facts straight (Horowitz didn't return to Russia in 1979, first of all, but to pick apart all your inaccuracies would take PAGES. Get a life.

 
At 11/03/2008 08:43:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

John,

I do appreciate your stopping by and sharing your reaction. First, it's fiction. The Moscow concert is 1986, but you sometimes adjust things. In this case, I did it to bring it more in line with a 1977 interview. I compromised between the two, something that's done a lot in this sort of fiction. I've assumed that people don't take the story literally or the negative portrayal of Horowitz as a prima donald as the only way to see the guy.

 
At 11/04/2008 10:48:00 AM, Blogger John2375 said...

I understand it's fiction, However to portray Mr. Horowitz in this light is disrespectful. The greatest pianist ever taking lessons, and stroking the hands of another pianist to get aroused because of his homosexuality - that's disgusting. If disrespecting genuine heroes is what gets you off, you must have really gotten off good writing this.

 
At 11/05/2008 04:03:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

John,
I'd mention that virtually all pianists take lessons. I actually have a friend who is an international concert pianist who vetted the story and he still has a teacher. Those who do tend to keep it very quiet. fwiw I think Horowitz worked with Murray Perahia well after Perahia had established a concert career.


In this case, Horowitz is trying to play jazz which he can't quite master (another very real divide that I've checked in on) I think Jean Yves Thibaudet's transcriptions of Bill Evans and Duke Ellington come pretty close to crossing the two though and Andre Previn certainly has done both quite successfully, but there are many master classical pianists who can't do jazz.

I also looked at the allegations that Horowitz was homosexual and that his sexual tastes sometimes played a role in the students he chose to master teach. Certainly Horowitz had a good relationship with Byron Janis that seemed simply that of teacher and pupil, but I've also seen some reports of students Horowitz refused to endorse and some awkward situations. He also refused to teach women pianists for some reason. I just don't think the one very fictional scene is that far-fetched. Maybe not respectful...but not totally implausible.

I think Horowitz was a great pianist though not exactly a great interpreter more of a showman in certain ways a bit like Louis Gottschalk (who lived before they had recordings). It's also pretty clear that he had a complex inner life. My take on him is that he was driven to be the "best" but was also deeply proud and that it likely had its price.

I wrote the story to explore that some, but also to contrast it with the career of Art Tatum.

 
At 2/14/2011 04:55:00 AM, Blogger felton said...

very fabulous .. for me he is the greatest pianist i've ever seen.. even if i did not see him live in his performances...

wedding pianist for hire

 
At 4/19/2011 01:21:00 PM, Blogger William said...

I discovered your blog while googling for Vladimir Horowitz information. Looking forward to reading what you wrote about him and Tatum. I'll give you my reaction once I've finished it. I did read your interview with Bellarosa -- very funny!

Unfortunately, I'll now be forced to read everything you've ever posted, just so I can keep up my end. Fortunately, I can feel the OCD kicking in just when I need it.

And if you see Margalo, tell her I'm looking for her.

 
At 5/12/2011 09:38:00 AM, Blogger Brides Ask Us said...

I think that Art Tatum is indeed a legend - have you heard his version of Chopins Valse in C# Minor.

Art Tatum plays Chopin

I am really excited by this improvisation - I have read many texts about the piano battles that Chopin himself used to have and I would love to think that this would have been accepted as a modern day equivalent.

I play jazz and classical piano at weddings and I had never thought of fusing them in this way before!

 

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