From the Armand Diaries:
Saturday, January 11, 1947 in Pittsburgh, at Syria Mosque. We drove up with Rebecca Wade, Sara Smith of History Department, plus a Miss Brown from town (rich as Croesus). I piloted Rebecca's '41 Mercury up and back. Dinner at Schenley Hotel out by U. of Pittsburgh. Set us back between us $5 and scarcely worth it. Cooking and decor of dining room stodgy and uninspired, air of Saratoga Springs in 1895.
But the concert! Horowitz at his best. Everything he played was good, but outstanding were:
- Sonata in A major by Mozart (Kolchel 331), very good;
- Moussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, very fine, especially Gnomus, also Tuilleries, Bydlo, ballet of the Unhatched Chicks, Two Polish Jews, Limoges - The Market, The Hut on Hen's Legs, the finale, "The Great Gate of Kiev", in its pyrotechnics, runs, splendor and strength was splendid;
- Variations on a theme by Clara Wieck by Schumann - fine;
- several superb Chopin pieces: A flat major Impromptu; C minor Etude, op. 10 with very strong left hand work - this is a well known Chopin number, perfectly rendered;
- Nocturne in F sharp major, so delicate and singing (as Mary said) was his fingering that it brought tears to my eyes and does again as I recall it now - so rippling, light.
The last regular number was Liszt's "Legend: St.Francis of Paola Walking on the Waters" - here that old master of the piano and showman met his master. Such a tempest, a flood of notes from one piano scarcely seemed possible. (Listen to an actual 1947 recording of this piece, by Horowitz).
I bravo'ed and bravo'ed! And he plays with no theatrics, no German gestures, so simply. For his third and fourth encore he played his famous version of Mendelssohn's Wedding March, which he also did last year - this number is also quite unbelievable.