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Arthur Rubinstein


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Brahms: Piano Concerto No.2
Christoph von Dohnanyi, conductor / Rubinstein, piano / KRSO
(Zurich, 23 May 1966)
Brahms: Rhapsody Op.79, No.1
Brahms: Capriccio Op.76, No.2
Chopin: Nocturne Op.27, No.2
Chopin: Waltz Op.64, No.2
Falla: Ritual Fire Dance (encore with introduction from Rubinstein)
(Nijmegen, Holland, 20 April 1963)

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Arthur Rubinstein requires no introduction - he was one of the greatest and most distinguished pianists of the 20th century with a large discography. These rare performances have an historical importance in that after 1914, Rubinstein never played in Germany again and therefore to have him with a German orchestra (KRSO) in Zurich in 1966 was a very rare event. Rubinstein caught live in 1966 rather than in the studio brings a much greater spontaneity in the Brahms, which is beautifully and excitingly performed. These performances have never been issued before.

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1      Applause0.21

        Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major, op.83

2      I      Allegro non troppo16.48

3      II     Allegro appassionato9.12

4      III    Andante12.20

5      IV    Allegretto grazioso8.53

6      Applause0.23


7      Rhapsody in B minor, op.79 no.18.28

8      Capriccio in F sharp minor, op.76 no.23.38



9      Nocturne in D flat major, op.27 no.25.57

10    Waltz in C sharp minor, op.64 no.23.40

11    Applause and announcement by Rubinstein0.24



12    Danza ritual del fuego (Ritual Fire Dance) El amor brujo3.33



        Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester

        Now renamed WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln

        Christoph von Dohnányi


        Recorded: Zurich, 23 May 1966 (Concerto); Nijmegen, 20 April 1963 (Recital)

BRAHMS - Piano Concerto No.2 2nd Movement

Martin Kendrick

“This is a truly beautiful performance of the B flat major concerto.”

MusicWeb International

    Martin Kendrick

    “Much to revere, especially the andante.”

    La Scena Musicale

      Martin Kendrick

      “The legendary charisma and indelible individuality of Arthur Rubenstein. The transfers are excellent and so one can hardly be sufficiently grateful for the issue of such material and, above all, human treasure.”

      EDITORS CHOICE - Gramophone

        Martin Kendrick

        “The sound (again mono) is excellent, warmer and with greater dynamic range than in the concerto, and the pitch is almost perfect... here we have a superbly engineered example of Rubinstein’s art.”

          Martin Kendrick

          “Another ICA Classics remastering to recommend is this fascinating collection of live recordings by Rubinstein in the last decade of his career. The orchestral sound is dated and cramped in Brahms's second concerto but Rubinstein's playing is wonderfully fresh, modern and inspired, wrong notes and all. That mercurial, unmannerly generosity extends to his readings of Chopin's Nocturne in D flat major (recorded in Nijmegen in 1963) and to Falla's exhilarating "Ritual Fire Dance". Excellent liner notes remind us that Rubinstein was playing Debussy, Ravel, Albeniz and Szymanoski when they were contemporary composers; indeed, when he discovered the "Fire Dance" in 1916, Falla still had 30 years to live.”

          The Observer

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