Concerto for Piano no 23 in A major, K 488by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Performer:
Artur Rubinstein (Piano)
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria Date of Recording: 1949
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54by Robert Schumann Performer:
Artur Rubinstein (Piano)
RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1841-1845; Germany Date of Recording: 1947
Better Versions by Rubinstein to be Found ElsewhDecember 16, 2011By T. Drake (South Euclid, OH)See All My Reviews"Arthur Rubinstein was such a prolific recording artist that, in most cases, he made multiple recordings of the same repertoire. Such is the case with the material on this CD. Rubinstein was one of the first pianists to record Mozart's Concerto, K. 488, back in 1931. That performance remains one of the most virtuosic and thrilling Mozart Concertos ever commited to disc, with strikingly fast tempi. This later performance, from 1949, is more in line with mainstream opinions on Mozart interpretation. However, unlike many Mozart "specialists," Rubinstein moulds phrases and dynamics with a refreshing flexibility. Vladimir Golschmann and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra furnish a sensitive accompaniment which comes through the rather cramped sonics.
Schumann's popular Piano Concerto was a great favorite of Rubinstein's. This, his first recording of the piece, dates from 1947. It's hard to imagine Rubinstein, with his natural sense of tempo, phrasing, and structure, not being at home in this piece, and he does an admirable job here. Unfortunately, the recorded sound is so harsh, boxy, and poorly balanced, enjoyment of the performance is severely curtailed.
Rubinstein's performance of Traumerai, from Schumann's Kinderszenen, makes one wish he recorded the entire cycle. What a pity. The Prophet Bird, which Rubinstein recorded several times, is marred here by a defective 78RPM pressing, which causes distortion toward then end of the piece. The sonics leave a bit to be desired in the popular Arabesque, despite a convincing, quasi-improvisatory performance.
Better performances by Rubinstein, with superior sound, exist elsewhere in the collection.
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