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Arthur Rubinstein: The Complete Album Collection

43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 31, 2012
$400.00 $384.99

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Editorial Reviews

What release is this that can command such a gaudy price? Well, take another look: that's for 142 (!) CDs, which is what's necessary to compile-for the first time- every Arthur Rubinstein album ever released! One of the great poets of the piano, Rubinstein is heard here on every RCA Victor album he made from 1940-76, and also on one Decca album from 1978. Lastly, you'll hear the fine recordings he made in England for HMV between 1928 and 1940 plus the world-premiere release of two Carnegie Hall concerts from December 8 and 10, 1961 (featuring works by Debussy and Chopin). On the bonus DVDs: Rubinstein Remembered , a documentary chronicling his life, and The Benefit Recital for Israel from 1975. In the 164-page full-color hardcover book: a wealth of essays and photos plus complete discography, track listings and discographical notes. And on those 142 CDs?: Rubinstein's vast array of studio and live recordings of solo, concert and chamber-music pieces, with all albums presented in their best remasterings (using SACD and XRCD mastering sources). A dream come true for classical lovers, and a dream that will soothe your musical soul for a very, very long time!

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 31, 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 144
  • ASIN: B005G0ETV0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,105 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 110 people found the following review helpful By John Fowler the Obsessive Compulsive Reviewer TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 31, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Amazon lists the 144 CD Rubinstein box under two different ASIN numbers (Amazon Stock Identification Number):

Arthur Rubinstein: The Complete Album Collection

Arthur Rubinstein: The Complete Album Collection

They are identical, but Amazon treats them as different items, with different sellers and different prices.
Before ordering, check both listings to make sure you get the best price.

I notified Amazon and got this response:

I'm sorry for the misunderstanding.
I understand you "Arthur Rubinstein: The Complete Album Collection" is list 2 times on our website.
I've checked and found that the one is in box set ($298.48) and another is not in box set ($349.98). This is the major difference.
I'm sorry, but I can't check more information on the specific physical details of the "Arthur Rubinstein: The Complete Album Collection" for you."



Way back in the Twentieth Century (1999) RCA/BMG (not yet Sony) issued the complete Rubinstein on 94 CDs with a nice book.
It was an expensive proposition - at the time it was advertised at Tower Records for $1300.

Now we have 142 CDs + 2 DVDs and a nice book for approximately $300.

This is not quite as remarkable as it seems.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Polichinelo on February 1, 2012
Format: Audio CD
28 January 2012 marks 125 years since Rubinstein was born. A great time to consider his legacy in this marvellous set.

The title words to this review are those Harvey Sachs uses in the liner notes to the original Rubinstein Collection to describe how those of us who were lucky enough to hear Rubinstein play live felt after one of his performances. As Sachs says, those words also describe how one feels after hearing Rubinstein's recording of Chopin's B Minor Sonata.

This set is full of such wonderful performances. The recording of the Busoni arrangement of Bach's Chaconne is titanic and must rank among the greatest piano recordings. It exemplifies what Eunice Podis (quoted by Sachs in his excellent biography of Rubinstein) says of Rubinstein's ability to shape very long legato lines, especially in Chopin. Barenboim, also quoted by Sachs refers to something unerring about Rubinstein's healthy musical intellect and Jeremy Siepmann in sleeve notes to the BBC Legends series speaks of his powerful, all embracing sense of rythm, stating that his playing was straightforward, natural simple and healthy. Siepmann also refers to Rubinstein's ability to hear and balance voices in single chords.

Then there is Rubinstein's natural and delicate use of rubato and his gloriously beautiful tone. I would add to the learned opinions above that Rubinstein's sheer love of the music he plays shines through time after time.

You will hear and be touched by these qualities countless times throughout this set. Listen to the delicate weaving of Chopin's Nocturnes, especially Op. 55, no.2 in the 1967 recording and the powerful sense of structure in his Ballades and Scherzos. The recording of the F minor Ballade is another towering performance.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Hank Drake VINE VOICE on January 31, 2012
Format: Audio CD
The recordings of Arthur Rubinstein have been well treated on Compact Disc. Some of RCA's first CD issues of analogue recordings were devoted to Rubinstein, although the early remastering left much to be desired. (I worked at a classical record store on Cleveland's Shaker Square when a Tchaikovsky/Grieg disc was issued. The manager said it would never sell because it originated as an analogue recording - in fact all our copies sold within two days.) Most of Rubinstein's stereo recordings have received multiple CD issues, a testament to the pianist's continuing popularity with the public. The mono recordings have not had such broad distribution which has contributed to a distorted picture of the pianist's legacy. RCA's Complete Rubinstein Collection, issued as an expensive box in 1999, gathered together all of Rubinstein's recordings for RCA, HMV/EMI, and a single recording he made for Decca/London - it also contained a two CD set of interviews and previously unissued recordings. Now we have this Original Album Collection. Contained herein is everything from the 1999 box, except for the 1964 Moscow recital, which is available elsewhere on CD and DVD. This set also includes three CDs of previously unpublished live recordings (more on those later) - making for a total of over 100 hours containing a huge swath of solo, concerto, and chamber repertoire - at a fraction of the price of the 1999 box.

With the exception of a 78RPM disc made for the Polish Favorit label in 1910 (never transfered to a modern format), Rubinstein refused to record during the pre-electric era - he complained the old acoustic recording process made the piano sound "like a banjo". So the earliest recording here was made when Rubinstein was already 41 years old.
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Topic From this Discussion
My copy is already on it's way from Amazon UK
Buy from next time. Much cheaper when it comes to classical recordings. :)
Dec 5, 2011 by socratescafe |  See all 14 posts
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