Artur Rubinstein

Artur Rubinstein Live in Warsaw

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With one of the longest, continuous performing careers within the last century or so, pianist Arthur Rubinstein was also one of the most extensively recorded artists of his time. The vast majority of his recorded works are available on the Rubinstein Collection produced by RCA. However, there are still several gems available on other labels for those willing to look for them. Such is the case with this Altara Archive album of a live recording of Rubinstein and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra from 1960, a time when Rubinstein was truly at the height of his musical powers. This CD features the Second Piano Concertos of two composers for whom Rubinstein received the most frequent recognition: Chopin and Brahms. Both of these performances are quintessential Rubinstein -- passionate, sonorous, musically overflowing, and yes, marked by occasional mistakes. These minor foibles do not in the least detract from the deep musical understanding the Rubinstein conveys to his listeners. For true fans, however, even these great recordings of the two concertos are not the highlight of the album. The second disc of the set includes a full 54 minutes of rehearsal excerpts for the Brahms. While most of the work seems focused on fine tuning the orchestra, it's still a rare and fascinating glimpse of a work in progress.

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