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.