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#399496 - 05/12/03 10:29 PM Couple of questions that have been bugging me!
Joe Townley Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 182
Loc: Glendale
Does anyone know why Rubinstein recorded everything by Chopin BUT the Etudes? He certainly had the technique? Also, seems to me Rachmaninoff the purist, the perfectionist would have hated Rubinstein's mistake-laden playing, especially considering his father-son relationship to Horowitz - and we know how Howie and Rubin felt about each other! Yet a story on the Internet has Rachmaninoff attending a Rubinstein get-together, listening to Rubinstein's most recent recording of the Grieg concerto, commenting that he, like Rubinstein, felt it was the greatest concerto every written (yeah, right! Like we're going to take THAT for gospel!) and commenting only, "Piano is flat" afterward. Anyone have any input on this?

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#399497 - 05/12/03 10:34 PM Re: Couple of questions that have been bugging me!
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
I think I read in his autobiography that he did not feel he could them those pieces justice. He did have a great technique, but it was a different type of technique than most people. I am sure he played most of them in public, but perhaps he never really identified with them well enough to record them. (Pianists of past generations, when recording was evented, were slightly afraid of setting down what would be permanent impressions).

I read in the notes of Rubinstein's recording of the 2nd Rachmaninoff concerto that he did not particularly think it was great, just pianistically well written. I am not too sure whether they were friends or not though.

#399498 - 05/12/03 11:04 PM Re: Couple of questions that have been bugging me!
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
In Portland, Oregon, in 1963 or so, I heard Rubinstein play Op. 25 #5. He rendered the middle section with the most incredible legato I've ever heard. Even though the concluding section is "rougher," the smoothness of the middle portion clearly held the audience under its sway, as everyone forgot to applaud at the end of the piece.

He could play some of them well enough.
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

#399499 - 05/12/03 11:42 PM Re: Couple of questions that have been bugging me!
Joe Townley Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 182
Loc: Glendale
I'll NEVER forgive Rubinstein for not recording the "Thirds", my favorite of the 27! Anyone know if he ever played it in recital, or as an encore? I heard one of his last recitals in 73 at the L.A. Music Center. The program merely said "Six Etudes". We didn't know which ones, of course. Probably neither did he until he sat down. But the playing was marvellous, even at his age. Here's an interesting tidbit: one of the Etudes he played that night was the Op.10 #4 (the one I play on my website, plug! plug!) He ran into some difficulty in the right and left hand arpeggios that run contrary right before the recap. When encore time rolled around after a very taxing program, he said to the audience "I would like to repeat the Etude in c# minor if you don't mind." Second time around it went flawlessly. That's Rubinstein for you! :p

#399500 - 05/13/03 06:16 PM Re: Couple of questions that have been bugging me!
Praetorian_AD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/01
Posts: 717
Loc: England
I think he recorded that 4th etude, if I remember rightly.


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