Mouvements perpétuels (3)by Francis Poulenc Performer:
Artur Rubinstein (Piano)
Period: 20th Century Written: 1918; France Date of Recording: 1938
Napoliby Francis Poulenc Performer:
Artur Rubinstein (Piano)
Period: 20th Century Written: 1925; France Date of Recording: 1947
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
2/3 of the Million Dollar TrioDecember 22, 2011By T. Drake (South Euclid, OH)See All My Reviews"One of the most remarkable facets of Arthur Rubinstein's musicianship was his ability to work with nearly anybody. Nowhere is this more evident than in his recordings with Jascha Heifetz. The pianist and violinist reportedly disliked each other (Rubinstein issues scorching criticism of Heifetz as a musician and as a human being in his autobiography, My Many Years) yet they obtained excellent results in their recordings together. (In performances with the cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, they were sometimes referred to as The Million Dollar Trio, a moniker Rubinstein regarded with contempt.)
Their version Franck Sonata has been a classic of the gramophone since it was issued in 1937. There is an element of competitiveness here, yet also underlying agreement as to the nature of the music. Heifetz' technical control is, of course, astonishing, but so is his phrasing and nuance.
Rubinstein knew Poulenc and Albeniz personally, and his playing is appropriately authoritative. This 1938 performance of Poulenc's Mouvements perpetuels makes for fascinating comparison with his 1963 version. There is remarkably little change in phrasing between the two recordings, but tempos in the earlier version are noticably brisker. Did Rubinstein rush the piece to fit it onto one 78RPM side? The performance of Poulenc's Napoli Suite is from 1947 - the piece appeared in Rubinstein's repertoire only infrequently and this is his only recording of it.
Rubinstein became a specialist in Spanish music after he first fell in love with that country while on tour there in 1916. The performances here of Albeniz' music sparkle and remain a joy to hear. Cordoba and Navarra (the latter a frequent Rubinstein encore) are stunning examples of Rubinstein's early devil-may-care virtuosity.
A word about the recorded sound: Those considering this CD should not be discouraged by the recording dates (1929-1947). RCA has done an excellent job restoring the sound, disc noise is remarkably unobtrusive, and the high frequencies have not been overly filtered. The piano sound has body, presence, and gives a more accurate portrayal of Rubinstein's sound than many later recordings."Report Abuse
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