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Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894)


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cilgwyn
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« on: May 20, 2022, 04:55:13 pm »

Anton Rubinstein: Symphony No 2,Ouverture triomphale Op.43,Sérénade russe No.1,Valse caprice (arr. Karl Müller-Berghaus),Trot de cavalerie (arr. ?)  Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra / George Hanson    MDG



Well,what a difference a decent recording & performance make! :o :) I've always rather like the "Ocean" Symphony,since I first heard it as a youngster,on an old Turnabout Lp,borrowed from my local library ( sadly,never reissued on cd!) and I profess to enjoy some of his other music! For some reason I had overlooked this cd,which arrived today! Finally,the "Ocean" Symphony played decently & in really good sound quality! And the other pieces sound lovely too. In fact,in their own,un demanding way they all sound quite delightful,here. (And the Overture is great fun!) It's almost as if a veil has been lifted! The horns,the strings,the playing! Ooooh! :) The opening to the "Ocean" Symphony sounds quite lovely here! There is simply no comparison with those effort's on Russian Disc and Marco Polo! Poor old Anton Rubinstein! He really does deserve better! What a pity MDG didn't record some more of the symphonies! (Come on Cpo,Hyperion!) Of course,others may (will! Rubinstein must be one of the most rubbished composers in music history);but hearing these orchestral works in performances as good & well recorded as this surprised,even,me!
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2022, 09:16:42 pm »

Anton Rubinstein: Piano Concerto No 4 (+ assorted solo piano pieces by various composers)  Shura Cherkassy (piano) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/ Vladimir Ashkenazy    Decca



Rubinstein's once famous & much performed Fourth Piano Concerto seems to have dwindled away,along with the rest of his music,after his death! Although,it still had it's champions!  According to The 1951 Collins Record Guide,“the swelling introduction promises great things, but what emerges is perhaps only a rather large mouse”!
Rubinstein's Fourth,like allot of his music,tends to get less than rave reviews! Nevertheless,there always seems to be the odd enthusiast who thinks that Rubinstein's Fourth is an unjustly neglected masterpiece! I certainly enjoyed listening to in this performance. The fact that it doesn't seem to last too long & I didn't keep looking at the track timing's to see how much is left,is always a good sign. (Although,I am in a different room to the hi-fi & wearing wireless headphones,do I was unable to! :() A really good tune might have helped,but it's all very enjoyable. I think the slow movement was the best part of it. It's all very redolent of that era! The glitter,the elegance,the keyboard pyrotechnics and showmanship. Nothing terribly deep,but not bad for a big mouse,imho! ;D
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dhibbard
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2022, 03:20:24 am »







It is difficult to overstate the breadth of contribution of Anton Rubinstein to the development of the Russian culture in the 19th century. His multifaceted genius can be divided into three areas- Rubinstein the composer, the pianist, and the educator. In this second release in the series of recordings of his works for piano and orchestra, we focus on Rubinsteins role as a composer. Hailed by The New York Times as a pianist of a fiery sensibility and warm touch, Anna Shelest is an international award-winning pianist who has thrilled audiences throughout the world. Champion of esoteric repertoire, Anna is collaborating with legendary conductor Neeme Jarvi on this project, which will eventually record the complete works for piano and orchestra by Anton Rubinstein. The first album in the set was released in 2018 to critical acclaim.
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2022, 12:39:16 pm »

Anton Rubinstein: Symphonies 3 & 5 Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra / Barry H Kolman      Centaur



Anton Rubinstein fever continues! ("Shouldn't that be Saturday Night Fever?!!?" ed. ;D) This arrived today! Apparently,this was the first ever recording of No 3! The same orchestra as used in allot of those Marco Polo recordings of obscure & neglected repertoire. The recording quality for the third symphony does seem a tad better than on the Marco Polo & the playing a little sprightlier. To my ears these are pleasent,undemanding scores and,in their own way,very enjoyable. Nice cover art! I can remember walking into a wood one evening. It was almost dark & the rooks were returning to their roost's. The sound above my head was deafening and,what with all the fluttering of wings and only being aware of massed shapes whizzing around my head,not only awe inspiring but a little frightening!

I'm letting Lionel into all my dark,family secrets! We had our own version of Alf Garnett!! :o ;D
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2022, 04:00:17 pm »

Anton Rubinstein: Piano Concertos 1 & 2    Janoseph Banowetz (piano) Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice / Alfred Walter    Marco Polo



Well,I'm obviously very easily pleased;but I think these two Piano Concertos make very pleasant,if not,delightful listening. I'm also not sure if ,like one or two other music lovers on some forums I have visited (not "that" one!) in search of opinion's on the music of this once very famous musician,I don't prefer these two earlier concertos to the more famous Fourth Piano Concerto! (Not that I don't like that one!). It's just that the music-making here seems a tad more spontaneous,less pompous and intend on grandliquotent gestures! Nevertheless,for lovers of keyboard wizardry there's some spectacular keyboard pyrotechnics here & the Second Piano Concerto has a quite,lovely slow movement. It's true that there's no big tune of the kind you might find in a Tchaikovsky concerto;but it's all very melodious and I can think of allot of music I enjoy that isn't exactly full of the kind of tunes you'll hum in the bath or over a washing-up bowl! The sound quality is also one of the best I've heard from this label. Joseph Banowetz is also,obviously,a very talented pianist. Nice artwork,too! :)
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Santo Neuenwelt
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2022, 05:10:03 pm »

Yes many of his big works are certainly compelling. His chamber music also. As one critic wrote, if he had not been one of the leading piano virtuoso of all time, more attention would have been paid to his compositions. Unlike a lot of piano virtuosi, he knew how to write for both strings and winds and orchestra.

His piano trios are first rate and have all been recorded. They deserve concert performance, pity they do not get it. As for his string quartets, it would be great if we could get a recording of his last four, Opp.90 and 106.
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2022, 07:18:55 pm »

I'll have to look out for those,Santo! I just,this last week,bought the Hyperion cd's of his solo piano music,which appear's to have some admirer's,online!

Some people may think I'm just wasting my time with the music of this man. Yet,there's no doubt he was a very important figure in music,during his lifetime. He was,indeed,considered the greatest pianist,next to Franz Liszt. And his music was widely performed! The fact that the music of such a great musician has attracted so much bile makes him all the more intriguing as far as I'm concerned. And,there's no doubt,that some of his music is rated highly,in some quarters. For example! The Fourth Piano Concerto has had it's champions. And there are those who think it's up there with the best! I'm not sure I agree with that? But,I did enjoy listening to it recently. And I can certainly think of Piano Concertos that are allot worse! (A really knock out tune might have helped?!) I actually preferred his first two Piano Concertos,when I listened to them,this last week! And then there's The Demon,which is generally considered his greatest work. Indeed,there are some who regard it as a masterpiece! Unforunately,I haven't heard it,so I can't comment! And judging by some of the reviews I read,there are some who regard his solo piano music very highly indeed! I haven't received the cd's I bought,so I can't comment,as yet! But some of it is very,ambitious,and some of the reviews I have read make me very keen to hear it! The sub-standard quality of some of the recordings of his orchestral music don't exactly help! The MDG recording of his "Ocean" Symphony,which I received last week,shows what a difference a decent recording can make! Fortunately,the Marco Polo performances of his Piano Concertos appear to be allot better. There is also a very good recording of the Fourth Piano Concerto on the Decca label,played by Cherkassky. (I haven't heard the Hyperion recording!) The Centaur cd of Symphonies 3 and 5 struck me as a tad better than the one on the Marco Polo label;and is worth getting hold of if you can find a cheap copy (as I did!) But,the symphonies really do need first rate recordings from a top-notch label,like Cpo or Hyperion (or MDG?). Cpo do seem to be showing some interest in his music,of late,so there is some reason to remain hopeful!
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