“Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.”

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Arthur Rubinstein at Steinway: Have you Hugged Your Piano Today?

Get a coffee then click on the video link below and settle in for half an hour in the presence of joyous music making and insightful banter with the great Arthur Rubinstein, one of the last of the 19th century romantics. Then go hug your piano. 
     Rubinstein, whose career spanned most of the 20th
century, studied in Berlin under the supervision of Joachim, friend and colleague of Brahms.  I had the opportunity to hear him (Rubinstein, not Brahms) in concert twice in New York, once at Carnegie Hall in recital and once in a pension benefit concert with the New York Philharmonic, with whom he played three concertos—a the age of eighty-something.
"The 27-minute film featured on You Tube, captures Rubinstein’s embracing personality and joie de vivre. A celebrated raconteur, he intersperses colorful comments and stories at the drop of a note.
     Above all, viewers will experience the pianist’s artistry in full bloom, as he tries out a familiar Hamburg Steinway that had repair work done by factory technicians. They wrap themselves around him like fawning parents as he “improvises” and then plays snippets from the following works:

“Chopin: Etude in A-Flat Major, Op. 25 No. 1;
” Etude in C Major, Op. 10 No. 1;
” Etude in A minor, Op. 10 No. 2;
” Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23;
“Szymanowsky: Symphonie Concertante, Op. 60;
“Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales;
“Schubert: Sonata in B-Flat Major, D. 960.”

No further introduction is needed, except to say that the film will draw you back for repeated viewings.

Oh, and don’t forget to click CC on the screen bottom to activate English sub-titles."

Video link—Rubinstein at Steinway in Hamburg:

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