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The Rubinstein Collection, Vol. 49--Chopin: 19 Nocturnes

10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 12 2000)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sme
  • ASIN: B000031WBV
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,058 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. Op. 9, No. 1, In B-Flat Minor
2. Op. 9, No. 2 In E-Flat
3. Op. 9, No. 3 In B
4. Op. 15, No. 1 In F
5. Op. 15, No.2 In F-Sharp
6. Op. 15, No. 3 In G Minor
7. Op. 27, No. 1 In C-Sharp Minor
8. Op. 27, No. 2 In D-Flat
9. Op. 32, No. 1 In B
10. Op. 32, No. 2 In A-Flat
Disc: 2
1. Op. 37, No. 1 In G Minor
2. Op. 37, No. 2 In G
3. Op. 48, No. 1 In C Minor
4. Op. 48, No. 2 In F-Sharp Minor
5. Op. 55, No. 1 In F Minor
6. Op. 55, No. 2 In E-Flat
7. Op. 62, No. 1 In B
8. Op. 62, No. 2 In E
9. Op. 72, No. 1 In E Minor

Product Description

Despite Arthur Rubinstein's extroverted personality and open-hearted interpretive approach, his performances of Chopin's introspective, half-lit Nocturnes inspired him to some of his greatest recordings, as this, the last of his three traversals of the 19, amply demonstrates. His earlier recordings, from 1936-37 and 1949-50, have their admirers, but this set dating from 1965 and 1967 is superior for its interpretive depth and realistic stereo sound. It's a touch slower than the earlier versions, and Rubinstein's glorious tone color, mastery of shadings, and unerring sense of rubato help make these among his greatest recordings. He makes the music breathe as few others have; the melodies go straight to the heart thanks to subtle phrasing that wrings worlds of emotion without wallowing. That sense of naturalness and inevitability in his playing can be heard in every one of these 19 works. It makes the start of Op. 27, No. 1 deeply moving and inspires awe at the way he brings structural clarity to Op. 48, No. 1 without compromising its mood. Others may have equaled his achievement in one or another of these works, but as a set, this is inspired pianism. --Dan Davis

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on Nov. 27 2001
Format: Audio CD
Still my favorite piano album of all time. I moved a few years ago and lost all my CD's, and because of financial problems have only recently begun to repurchase many recordings. When I bought this again and listened to it after a few years away, I could have cried. It was like meeting an old love, and none of the thrill was gone. She was as beautiful as ever. Rubinstein's sense of rubato is perfect; affective and full of rhythm within rhythm, yet only consciously noticeable when you carefully examine the playing. Totally natural. Like Liszt said of Chopin's rubato, "See that tree? See how the leaves move yet the shape stays the same?" The tone is bold and sharp, proving that Chopin's music was not to be maudlinly caressed as the stereotype of a weak, tubercular genius has perpetuated. This is music to lay in the dark with, not to sleep, but to ride the night blanket away in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on March 4 2003
Format: Audio CD
The mention of Rubinstein invariably recalls to mind his fellow countryman Chopin, the greatest composer for the instrument of all time. Although the Russian school is well-known and still in existence, there was once an enormous Polish school that thundered, whispered and sang with that machine of ebony and ivory.
No one intoned those inner voices like Frederic Chopin and perhaps no one understood them better than Artur Rubinstein. Many claim that the Nocturnes are the apex of Chopin's oeuvre. This would be true if it were not for the Mazurkas, Ballades, Scherzos, Preludes and Etudes. But it is true that the Nocturnes are the pieces that one instantly associates with the artist. They are in turn dreamy, stormy, languid, lush and touching.
Of course, in Rubinstein's capable hands they sound easy - and they are anything but simple works. One needs a totally free hand, mobile fingers and that special touch that Chopin requires. Then there are all those pesky rhythms - 2 against 3, 3 against 4, an undulating flow of sound. The adjective that comes to mind when listening to Rubinstein's interpretations is "silky". The perfect cover for this set is an upturned wine bottle (long neck) with deep red liquid flowing over the pages of the music.
Needless to say, the CHOPIN COLLECTION is without a doubt a towering achievement in the annals of recording. There is no doubt that if you purchase this set, the others will be right behind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Juan M. Gonzalez Cosio on March 28 2012
Format: Audio CD
The whole set of interpreters of F. Chopin can be divided into two groups. Group 1 consists of only one interpreter and this is Artur Rubinstein. Group 2 consists of all the others. If anyone wants to hear the way Chopin himself played his compositions just listen to his Nocturnes played by Artur Rubinstein. Yes, I know that we never heard Chopin playing his compositions but we don't have to do it ... just listen to Rubinstein ! Why do I, and many others like me, believe so ? Well ... it's because we are convinced that Artur Rubinstein is the reincarnation of Fryderyk Chopin ! Of course I am kidding, but for those who do believe in reincarnation my statement could be absolutely correct. Really, Rubinstein's Chopin lies in another dimension. This CD set is absolutely gorgeous !
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Format: Audio CD
One of the many factors--aside from the obvious technical and tonal ones--which made Arthur Rubinstein's Chopin so compelling was his refusal to cross the line separating sentiment (epathy) and sentimentality (schmaltz).
The performances in this, Rubintein's third--and most successful--traversal of Chopin's Nocturnes are remarkably straightforward and direct. Each of the performances starts out simply, with natural phrasing and tactful, unobtrusive use of rubato. The structure of each piece is clear, and Rubinstein resists the temptation to linger over this-or-that phrase for "added emotional effect." Far from draining the emotional impact of these miniature masterworks, Rubinstein's performances actually heighten the impact of each piece, especially those in minor keys. Perhaps the greatest tribute to Rubinstein's treatment of these pieces is that even the most well known Nocturnes emerge as totally fresh works.
RCA's excellent remastering of the mid-1960s stereo tape gives an accurate idea of the gorgeous sound Rubinstein could get from a piano.
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By Amazon Customer on April 23 2003
Format: Audio CD
I owned this recording of the Nocturnes on vinyl many years ago and have just got around to purchasing it on CD. I presently own many, many wonderful recordings of Chopin's Nocturnes. However, listening to the Rubinstein's recording again, after so many years, was like going home (in the best sense of the phrase). I love the Nocturnes; they are my favorite works of Chopin. All I can say is that Rubinstein's recordings are, indeed, the best! I love all my recordings of the Nocturnes; but the Artur Rubinstein's recording, of them, sooth my soul and emotionally move me down to the very marrow of my bones. The recording, honestly, moves me to tears.
If you love Chopin and love his Nocturnes, as I do, buy this recording; there is none better!
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