Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


  • Bantock Khayyam
  • Arthur Butterworth Symphonies
  • William Wordsworth Symphonies
  • Sir John in Love
  • Violin Concertos


Vadim Gluzman - A quite extraordinarily good disc

This impressed me mightily

Shostakovich 5, 8 9
Great concentration

Let me tell you
Stratospheric Barbara Hannigan
Birmingham and BBC Proms

Berkeley - Authenticity

Highly Expressive

NØRGÅRD Stunning

Superbly played

One to treasure

One of the finest American
choral-orchestral works

from strength to strength

inspired choice

Book and CD £12

Book + 4CDs £33



Not available in the USA

CD: Crotchet
Download: Classicsonline

Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)
Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, op.18 (1901) [29:23]
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op.43 (1934) [22:09]
Prelude in C sharp minor, op.3 no.2 (1892) [4:22]
Arthur Rubinstein (piano)
NBC Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Golschmann (Piano Concerto No.2)
Philharmonia Orchestra/Walter Susskind (Rhapsody)
rec. Carnegie Hall, New York, 27 May 1946 (Piano Concerto No.2); EMI Abbey Road Studio No.1, London, 16-17 September 1947 (Rhapsody); RCA Studios, Hollywood, 11 December 1950 (prelude)


Experience Classicsonline

Rubinsteinís 1946 Carnegie Hall recording of the C minor concerto is one of the fastest on record; I canít say the fastest because Iím in no position to have heard them all. Itís certainly quicker than the composerís own electric recording with Stokowski though roughly on a par with the 1924 late acoustic they made together. Even here however Rubinstein is quite a bit quicker in the finale. The effect is one of intense excitement and engagement, sprinkled with a number of the pianistís own textual emendations, and given the notorious microphone placement on which he insisted the result is a blockbusting, visceral and very up-front traversal. Rubinstein refuses almost all offers to linger, preferring instead a valiant, almost defiant linearity thatís by no means finger perfect but adds a remarkable gloss to more indulgent performers. That said I donít think anyone would call Moiseiwitsch sentimental in this regard and yet he in his recordings with Goehr and Cameron was altogether slower Ė three and a half minutes slower in total with Goehr in 1937 for example Ė and he didnít sound sentimental either.

What does emerge strongly in this performance is Rubinsteinís approach to elements of Rachmaninoffís† writing that others can elide, especially audible Ė given the nature of the recording Ė in the slow movement. I found his playing here at its best, though the recording sabotages string counter themes and wind lines rather ruinously; even the horns suffer badly. But the compensations are once again linear and decisive, qualities that reappear in the finale. Moiseiwitschís slightly earlier performance of this clocked in at 11: 24 Ė and he was no slouch; Rubinstein dispatches his finale in 9:58.

The Rhapsody is better balanced. He also had a better orchestra than the NBC in the form of the Philharmonia and a better accompanist than Golschmann in Walter Susskind. Still itís again a vivaciously phrased and again very powerful, no prisoners type of performance. The pianistís chording is dynamic and ringing, the horns sound resplendent. The winds etch their lines with powerful personality. For all the ťlan things donít sound breathless as they could in the concerto. The tempo here is on a par with Moiseiwitschís. A 1950 C sharp minor Prelude makes a formidable, if perhaps inevitable Ďencoreí Ė Rubinsteinís only commercial recording of a solo piece by the composer.

In conclusion thereís quite a bit under an hour of well annotated and expertly transferred Rubinstein-Rachmaninoff here. Powerful, graphically pictorial and directional; intensely dramatic, sometimes uncomfortably so.

Jonathan Woolf

see also Review by Rob Maynard



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