Rubinstein Collection Vol 13 - Grieg: Piano Concerto, Etc
Rca Victor Red Seal
Number of Discs:
1 Hours 7 Mins.
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Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg
Artur Rubinstein (Piano)
Written: 1868/1907; Norway
Date of Recording: 03/06/1942
Venue: Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA
Length: 25 Minutes 53 Secs.
Ballade for Piano in G minor, Op. 24 by Edvard Grieg
Artur Rubinstein (Piano)
Written: 1875-1876; Norway
Date of Recording: 11/06/1953
Venue: RCA Studios, Hollywood, California
Length: 16 Minutes 41 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Rubinstein Shines in Early Grieg Recordings December 22, 2011
By T. Drake (South Euclid, OH) See All My Reviews
"Arthur Rubinstein was midway through his 75-year-long performing career before he learned the Grieg Concerto. In his autobiography, he reports that he was under the then-common impression that the Concerto was "cheap stuff" and not worthy of his time. RCA wanted to record him playing the piece, and Rubinstein's wife liked the Concerto. She purchased the score and placed it on his piano. Reading through it, he realized it "was easy to play and lovable." Thus began a love affair that was to continue until the pianist's retirement in 1976.
This performance, recorded in 1942, was the first of four recordings of the work Rubinstein made--there is an additional, filmed performance from 1975. One can take the technical finish of this brisk, polished performance for granted. Not to be underestimated is the orchestral contribution. Eugene Ormandy, one of the most underrated conductors of the 20th century, was an especially sympathetic and gifted accompanist. He matches Rubinstein phrase-for-phrase, rubato-for-rubato.
The solo works on this album are taken from the legendary "Rubinstein Plays Grieg" LP recorded in 1953. This recording had the unique distinction of remaining in the active catalogue until the demise of the LP in the late-1980s. The performances here are as fresh, direct, and lacking in phony sentiment as the Concerto. It is a pity that Rubinstein was never persuaded to re-record these solo pieces in stereo, as there are always those closed-minded individuals who will refuse to purchase a mono recording, no matter how great the performance is.
The recorded sound - except for a barely percepible change of pitch at 5'30" in the first movement of the Concerto - has been superbly restored.