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  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



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RUBINSTEIN ADAGIOS - Romantic Reveries for piano and orchestra
from Piano Concertos by MOZART (No. 21 - andante); GRIEG (adagio); TCHAIKOVSKY (No. 1 andantino semplice); RACHMANINOV (No. 2 adagio sostenuto); CHOPIN (No. 2 - larghetto); BEETHOVEN (No. 5 adagio un poco mosso); SCHUMANN andantino grazioso; CHOPIN (No. 1) Romance RACHMANINOV Paganini Rhapsody variation 18; CHOPIN Andante spianato
Arthur Rubinstein (piano)
RCA Victor SO; Boston SO; Philadelphia; Chicago SO; Symphony of the Air; New SO of London
conductors: Wallenstein; Leinsdorf; Ormandy; Reiner; Giulini; Skrowaczewski.
Rec 1956-72
BMG - RCA VICTOR 09026 63904 2 [71.27]


This is another mood music collection created by bringing together movements from complete concerto recordings made in analogue. The title and the blue pastel shaded soft focus butterfly design of the cover say it all.

These movements were neither designed nor recorded to be presented in this way but given that there appears to be a demand for such collections and that BMG have the inclination let us spend a few moments on the disc.

It was produced and annotated by R Peter Munves. The timing is reasonably full and if this is not likely to be for most people frequenting CMOTW I hope that the disc might be the key to someone opening classical doors they had never thought of or had always imagined were not for them. For this reason it is a pity to disdain such collections despite their oleaginous and exploitative motivation.

Rubinstein is predictably generous-hearted being at his estimable best in the Grieg, Chopin (three tracks), Schumann, Beethoven and the Tchaikovsky. Leinsdorf and the Bostonians are outstanding in the latter. Ormandy's Philadelphia flutes sound celestially calm at 8.13 in the Rachmaninov concerto. The strings tend to shrillness in the Mozart and the Rachmaninov/Paganini. The other tracks sound much better. Rubinstein is an adept in these works and especially in this sentimental light. Quite what he would have made of his recordings being excerpted in this way I do not know.

Intriguing to note the young Skrowaczewski (since having triumphed with his Ravel Vox collection in Minnesota and his Bruckner symphonies on Arte Nova) now conducting the New SO of London for the Chopin First Concerto.

Too much of a good thing for most of us but as a soporific mood maker/enhancer or as a soft-edged introduction to the piano concerto it more than passes muster.

Rob Barnett

 


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