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  • Rubinstein: Brahms Piano Concerto, No. 2, Schumann Fantasiestucke
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Rubinstein: Brahms Piano Concerto, No. 2, Schumann Fantasiestucke Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, January 9, 2001
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 83 in B-flat Major: Allegro non troppo17:39Album Only
listen  2. Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 83 in B-flat Major: Allegro appassionato 9:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 83 in B-flat Major: Andante12:06Album Only
listen  4. Allegro grazioso 9:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: Das Abends 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: Aufschwung 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: Warum? 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: Grillen 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. In der Nacht 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: Fabel 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: Traumes Wirren 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: Ende vom Lied 4:52$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
  • Audio CD (January 9, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B00004TG7G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,722 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Hank Drake VINE VOICE on February 1, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Volume 71 of RCA's complete Rubinstein Collection features the pianist's final recorded versions of two of his favorite works.
Rubinstein first recorded the Brahms Second Piano Concerto in 1929--a recording which remains one of the most exciting, if unpolished, versions on record. In 1971, Rubinstein returned to the studios and made this, his fourth, official recording of the work--this time with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His conception of the piece had changed dramatically in the intervening years, and he seems to have traded one extreme for the other. Tempos are slow here, phrasing is flabby, and rubato emphasized at the expense of structure. Ormandy follows Rubinstein every step of the way, and the orchestra's playing is very distinguished. While this performance has a certain autumnal beauty, this is far from a first choice among Brahms Seconds. Better versions exist from Horowitz/Toscanini (Music & Arts, 1948), Szell/Fleischer (Sony, 1962), and Rubinstein himself, (with Krips, recorded in 1958 and included in Volume 38 of this collection).
Rubinstein is also competing with his younger self in the Schumann Fantasiestucke, Op. 12. The sessions from which this recording were taken were for his last LP in 1976. Tempos are only slightly slower here than in his earlier (1949 & 1962) versions of the work. The main problems here are dynamics and phrasing: due to his failing hearing, Rubinstein had an increasing tendency in his final years to play quiet passages too loudly; and the phrasing in this performance has a tentative, uncertain quality, distracting the listener from the music.
The sound has been more than adequately remastered, but due to the problems with the performances, this CD will be of interest mainly to Rubinstein completists.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Theophilus on November 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Although Rubinstein will always remain one of my favorite pianists, this performance of the Brahms Concerto no. 2 does not captivate my attention too well. The main overall complaint of this rendition is that there is not enough power. It is done on a very quiet dynamic range. I think Rubinstein's age is the main cause of this, and physical stamina is a requirement when playing this Herculean work.

I was expecting the performance of a lifetime based on David Dubal's suggestion in "Art of the Piano", but I am disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jurgen Lawrenz on June 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can understanding that people used to, say, Gilels or Richter or Pollini (each doing it twice), might feel a sense of disappointment. But ask yourself: what re you looking for in music? Are we going to be picky about a little note missed here or there? Or a tiny ritardando once or twice because the pianist's fingers are a little less flexible than they used to be? Are we going to say Rubinstein was too old, or too lightweight for Brahms? Funny this: Brahms was Rubinstein's favourite composer!
What I look for is something to get enthusiastic about. Like this performance, which has such a natural feel to it that you might think it plays itself. This is an illusion Rubinstein always managed to create, and he has not lost that touch. Then there is the sheer beauty and joy of music making. It comes through for anyone who has ears. Piano Concertos are not all written for virtuosos - they are written for people like you and I, and Brahms was never much concerned with pandering to flying fingers or infallible fiddlers. He was concerned that we should LOVE HIS MUSIC. And by golly, Rubinstein LOVES THIS MUSIC, you can tell it in every bar. And so he communicates something to me that other pianists do not -- not even Gilels whom I admire immensely. Namely: my good fortune to have lived long enough to come across this recording that makes me happy inside, because it is beautiful and asks for nothing else than for you to love it in return. Easy done!
The Philadelphia under Ormandy play their part in this glorious feast. I have rarely heard Ormandy conduct with such sensitivity as here, where he must have been bowled over, too.
Excellent, smooth sound, perfect for the occasion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Martin on August 21, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The title of this review is in memory of both Rubinstein and Ormandy. Although not terribly respected right now, I believe, in time, Ormandy's reputation will rise again (BMG/Sony has so much back catalog they should be releasing, especially his MONO recordings from the 50s). Time has been much kinder to Rubinstein, thankfully.

Although I agree with Hank Drake's assessment of a few years back, these recordings are still fine mementos of two great artists at the end of their long and remarkable careers. Yes, the Brahms lacks the crackling frisson of the early Krips collaboration Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 / 2 Intermezzos / Rhapsody (Rubinstein Collection, Vol. 38), but for someone nearly 85 at the time, Rubinstein shows complete control of the keyboard. Ormandy's support is sympathetic and PO plays beautifully. No, this isn't anyone *first* choice for the Brahms 2nd, but it certainly deserves listening, and our appreciation of the great talents involved. Perhaps someday I'll be able to afford a copy of the Rubinstein/Ormandy last go-around with the Rachmaniov 2nd Rubinstein Collection 60, but at nearly $100 out here on Amazon, I'm not feeling *that* sentimental.

P.S. Now almost a year to the day later, I've gone back and reacquainted myself with this recording, and my reaction is much more positive. Rubinstein's ability to handle Brahms' beast of a concerto is very remarkable - even for a performer half his age. And Ormandy's partnership with his remarkable PO and the pianist is as symbiotic as we're likely to hear. The Schumann piece has never been a favorite, so I'll leave it to others more entralled to comment on Rubinstein's performance. Twelve months later: Highly Recommend.
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