Magazine April 20, 2020, Issue

Staggering Cornucopias 

A teacher arranges members of the St. Molaga’s School Choir before they compete in the annual Feis Ceoil music competition in Dublin, Ireland, April 2, 2019. (Laszlo Balogh / Reuters)
On books to read and music to listen to — or not.

Vladimir Horowitz, the great pianist, was a complicated person. He pretty much did not leave his home for twelve years. Later, a guest had the chutzpah to ask, “You mean, you didn’t leave this house for twelve years?” Horowitz, glancing around and gesturing, said, “You don’t like my house?”

When Bill Buckley heard about this, he loved it. He told the story using an excellent Horowitz impression — dead-on.

There is a lot of home confinement these days, and we may not be in a place like Horowitz’s: a beautiful townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He had the piano

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