MEGA has deleted a lot of my files and it's hard for me to know which ones that need to be re-uploaded.
So, if you find an expired link and want a re-up, please leave a comment. Just not too many requests at once.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Alban Berg; Wolfgang Rihm - Violin Concerto; Time Chant (Anne-Sophie Mutter)


Information

Composer: Alban Berg; Wolfgang Rihm
  1. Berg - Violin Concerto "To the Memory of an Angel": 1. Andante - Allegretto
  2. Berg - Violin Concerto "To the Memory of an Angel": 2. Allegro - Adagio
  3. Rihm - "Gesungene Zeit": 1. Beginning: quasi senza
  4. Rihm - "Gesungene Zeit": 2. Takt 179: meno mosso

Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
James Levine, conductor
Date: 1992
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/cat/4370932

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Mutter’s expressive, impassioned account of this concerto, recorded in 1992, is one of her greatest achievements on disc, a triumph both technically and interpretively. The concentration she brings to the task, the telling way she characterizes the kaleidoscopic moods through which the concerto passes, is something to marvel at—she grasps this extraordinary, complex piece whole, at the same time revealing its most minute details with unprecedented clarity. Levine and the Chicago Symphony rise to the occasion with playing of immense power and brilliance, and the recording is first-rate.

 -- Ted Libbey

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Berg's Violin Concerto (1935) is considered by many the most accessible and emotionally engaging piece of music in the atonal idiom. His last completed work, the concerto was written as a memorial "to an angel" upon the premature death of Alma Mahler's daughter Manon Gropius. But as with all of Berg's oeuvre, an autobiography of the composer's inner life is also thoroughly woven into the score. From the deeply reflective nuances of its quiet opening, Anne-Sophie Mutter takes the listener into the heart of Berg's ambiguous lyricism. There's a keen grasp, both by soloist and conductor James Levine, of the work's intricate structure and progression, but never at the price of a coldly disengaged intellectualism. Mutter summons a marvellous array of shadings and colours, effecting a truly haunting impression as tonality makes its ghostlike apparition, first in the guise of a folk song and, in the final part--following a violent cataclysm rendered with fiery power--in the variations on a quote from a chorale by Bach. Throughout, Mutter's intuitive realisation of the psychic journey traced by Berg reveals the work's significance as closer in spirit to a requiem of farewell than a traditional concerto. Mutter's command of an animated tone that pulsates with expressive purpose inspired the contemporary German composer Wolfgang Rihm to write the other work on this disc, Gesungene Zeit ("Time Chant"). It's a mesmerising neo-expressionist poem of shimmering, elongated string lines--later punctuated with dire eruptions from full orchestra--that seem to form an ether over which the soloist floats. Any sense of time measured in bars becomes negated as Mutter intones Siren-like threads of sound in the highest register. As with the Penderecki Violin Concerto No. 2 and other contemporary works she champions, Mutter plays with a gripping immediacy that indeed makes Rihm's imaginative novelty seem tailor-made for her.

-- Thomas May
Alban Berg (February 9, 1885 – December 24, 1935) was an Austrian composer. He was a member of the Second Viennese School with Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern, and produced compositions that combined Mahlerian Romanticism with a personal adaptation of Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alban_Berg

***

Anne-Sophie Mutter (born 29 June 1963) is a German violinist. Supported early in her career by Herbert von Karajan, she has built a strong reputation for championing contemporary music with several works being composed specially for her. She owns two Stradivarius violins (The Emiliani of 1703, and the Lord Dunn-Raven Stradivarius of 1710), a Finnigan-Klaembt dated 1999 and a Regazzi, dated 2005.

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Alan Hovhaness; Igor Stravinsky; Sergei Prokofiev - Orchestral Works (Fritz Reiner)


Information

Composer: Alan Hovhaness; Igor Stravinsky; Sergei Prokofiev
  1. Hovhaness - Symphony No. 2 "Mysterious Mountain", Op. 132: I. Andante
  2. Hovhaness - Symphony No. 2 "Mysterious Mountain", Op. 132: II. Double Fugue: Moderato moestoso
  3. Hovhaness - Symphony No. 2 "Mysterious Mountain", Op. 132: II. Double Fugue: Allegro vivo
  4. Hovhaness - Symphony No. 2 "Mysterious Mountain", Op. 132: III. Andante espressivo
  5. Stravinsky - Divertimento from "Le baiser de la fée": I.Sinfonia
  6. Stravinsky - Divertimento from "Le baiser de la fée": II.Dances suisses
  7. Stravinsky - Divertimento from "Le baiser de la fée": III.Scherzo
  8. Stravinsky - Divertimento from "Le baiser de la fée": IV.Pas de deux: Adagio - Variations - Coda
  9. Prokofiev - Lieutenant Kijé, Op. 60: I. The Birth of Kijé
  10. Prokofiev - Lieutenant Kijé, Op. 60: II. Romance
  11. Prokofiev - Lieutenant Kijé, Op. 60: III. Kijé's Wedding
  12. Prokofiev - Lieutenant Kijé, Op. 60: IV. Troika
  13. Prokofiev - Lieutenant Kijé, Op. 60: V. The Burial of Kijé

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Fritz Reiner, conductor
Date: 1957 (9-13), 1958 (1-8)
Label: RCA

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PERFORMANCE: **** / SOUND: ****

In a past review, I referred to Reiner’s ‘clarity, precision and flexible phrasing’, and all are conspicuous on this disc, as is his perfect control of balance and colour. Alan Hovhaness’s music is intensely individual though in no sense avant-garde, and it calls for the most subtle tonal shading. This it receives abundantly in Reiner’s engrossing account. The 24-minute Divertimento which Stravinsky drew from his full-length Tchaikovsky-based ballet The Fairy’s Kiss is recreated with equal finesse. The 1957 recording of Kijé has been reissued before.

-- Wadham SuttonBBC Music Magazine

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Most people became acquainted with Hovhaness's greatest symphony, Mysterious Mountain (Symphony 2), through this recording when it appeared on vinyl during the Stone Age. It plays like an extended prayer and is oddly structured. It was an immediate hit when it appeared in 1955. Stravinsky's The Fairy's Kiss is a 1928 ballet commission that, quite intentionally, recalls Tchaikovsky and was written to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his death. Last here is a bang-up reading of Serge Prokofiev's classic Lieutenant Kije Suite. If you want to turn a young person onto classical music, play this disc. Worked with me.

-- Paul Cook

More info and reviews:

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Alan Hovhaness (March 8, 1911 – June 21, 2000) was one of the most prolific composers of 20th century. His official catalog comprising 67 numbered symphonies and 434 opus numbers, with well over 500 works. Hovhaness' music is described "assimilates the music of many cultures" and "hushed, reverential, mystical, nostalgic".

***

Fritz Reiner (December 19, 1888 – November 15, 1963) was a prominent Hungarian-born conductor of opera and symphonic music in the twentieth century. He emigrated to the United States in 1922 and reached the pinnacle of his career as the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 1950s and early 1960s.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Adolf von Henselt - Etudes (Piers Lane)


Information

Composer: Adolf von Henselt
  • (01) 12 Études caractéristiques de concert, Op. 2
  • (13) Andante et étude concertante, Op. 3
  • (14) 12 Études de salon, Op. 5

Piers Lane, piano
Date: 2004
Label: Hyperion
http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA67495

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Various Composers - Russian Works for Cello and Piano (Michal Kaňka; Marek Jerie)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein; Sergei Rachmaninov; Nikolai Myaskovsky; Alexander Borodin; Igor Stravinsky; Sergei Prokofiev; Dmitri Shostakovich

CD1:
  • (01-03) Rubinstein - Cello Sonata No. 1 in D major, Op. 18
  • (04-07) Rubinstein - Cello Sonata No. 2 in G major, Op. 39
CD2:
  • (01-04) Rachmaninov - Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19
  • (05-06) Myaskovsky - Cello Sonata No. 1 in D major, Op. 12
  • (07-09) Myaskovsky - Cello Sonata No. 2 in A minor, Op. 81
CD3:
  • (01-03) Borodin - Cello Sonata in B minor
  • (04-08) Stravinsky - Suite Italienne for cello & piano
  • (09-11) Prokofiev - Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 119
CD4:
  • (01-04) Shostakovich - Cello Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40
  • (05-07) Rubinstein - 3 Pieces for cello & piano, Op. 11/3
  • (08) Prokofiev - Ballade in C minor, for cello & piano, Op.15
  • (09) Prokofiev - Adagio Op. 97b, from "Cinderella", for cello & piano

Michal Kaňka, cello; Jaromír Klepáč, piano
Marek Jerie, cello; Ivan Klánský, piano (Shostakovich Op. 40)
Date: 1999-2003
Label: Praga
http://www.pragadigitals.com/RUSSIAN-WORKS-FOR-CELLO-PIANO-M-KANKA-M-JERIE-cello-J-Klepac-I-Klansky-p-4CD-Box

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Review

For the casual fan of cello music, this four-disc set of Russian works for cello and piano may seem like far too much of a good thing. After all, the cello sonatas of Rubinstein, Myaskovsky, and Borodin are anything but standard repertoire. For the dedicated fan of cello music, this set may not seem up to the level of the great performances of the past. After all, Rostropovich has already recorded Prokofiev's Cello Sonata accompanied by Richter in the presence of the composer and Shostakovich's Cello Sonata accompanied by the composer and these performances are understandably hard to top for expressivity and authenticity. But for the deeply dedicated fan of Russian music, this set will be just the thing to fill out the corners in their collection. For them, the performances by cellist Michal Kanka and pianist Jaromir Klepác (and cellist Marek Jerie and pianist Ivan Klánsky for the Shostakovich) may not scale the same heights as Rostropovich, but by virtue of having recorded works Rostropovich never recorded, they are still in a class of their own. For them, the opportunity to hear superbly played and deeply committed performances of rarely recorded works by accomplished Czech artists will be inducement enough to pick up this set and discover the bravura excitement of Rubinstein's sonatas, the anguished romanticism of Myaskovsky's sonatas, and, best of all, the loving lyricism of Borodin's sonata for themselves. Praga's sound is crisp, clean, and deep.

-- James Leonard, AllMusic

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Michal Kaňka (born 1960, Prague) is a Czech cellist. He is a member of the Pražák string quartet (since 1986) and the Beethoven string trio he has appeared on major concert stages in the whole world and recorded many pieces above all for the CD company Praga digitals. He plays a contemporary instrument made by French violin-maker Christian Bayon 2006 and the bow made by French bow-maker Nicole Descloux 2000.

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Anton Rubinstein - Piano Quartets (Leslie Howard)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein
  1. Piano Quartet in F major, Op. 55bis: 1. Allegro non troppo
  2. Piano Quartet in F major, Op. 55bis: 2. Scherzo: Allegro assai
  3. Piano Quartet in F major, Op. 55bis: 3. Andante con moto
  4. Piano Quartet in F major, Op. 55bis: 4. Allegro appassionato
  5. Piano Quartet in C major, Op. 66: 1. Allegro moderato
  6. Piano Quartet in C major, Op. 66: 2. Allegro vivace
  7. Piano Quartet in C major, Op. 66: 3. Andante assai
  8. Piano Quartet in C major, Op. 66: 4. Allegro non troppo ma con fuoco

Leslie Howard, piano
Rita Manning, violin
Morgan Goff, viola
Justin Pearson, cello
Date: 2013
Label: Hyperion
http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA68018

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Reviews

Having dealt comprehensively with Liszt (99 CDs for Hyperion), the indefatigable Leslie Howard has been espousing Anton Rubinstein, one of the few pianists whose energy and dash even Liszt admired: he once encouraged a timid student, ‘Play it more like Rubinstein’. Howard has this sense of warmth and energy that characterises Rubinstein even when, as can happen with a composer who wrote so much and so effortlessly, these qualities sometimes overtake actual quality and originality of invention. But though there are passages where this could be said of the F major Quartet, Op 55, Howard brings it all off enthusiastically; and Rubinstein does not disappoint with his melodic gift when it comes to the fruity tune in the Trio of the Scherzo. This is, incidentally, the first recording of the string version which Rubinstein made from the original Quintet with wind instruments.

The recording of the later C major Piano Quartet, Op 66, also appears to be the first, – surprisingly, as Rubinstein himself often played it. It is certainly the more accomplished work and contains much of Rubinstein’s character – the emotional energy, but also the keyboard virtuosity, the melodic charm, and the capacity for the entertainingly unexpected. Howard, who contributes a helpful booklet essay, understands the music and is excellently supported by the strings in a recording that gives the soloist some precedence but does not obscure the old lion’s understanding of string textures.

-- John Warrack, Gramophone

More reviews:
http://www.classical-music.com/review/rubinstein-oct-14
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2014/Sep14/Rubinstein_quartets_CDA68018.htm
http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/may/01/rubinstein-piano-quartets-review
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/classicalcdreviews/10803764/Rubinstein-Piano-Quartets-review-passion-and-bravura.html
http://www.audaud.com/anton-rubinstein-piano-quartet-in-f-major-piano-quartet-in-c-major-leslie-howard-p-rita-manning-v-morgan-goff-viola-justin-pearson-cello-hyperion/
http://www.allmusic.com/album/rubinstein-piano-quartets-mw0002645404
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rubinstein-Piano-Quartet-Major-Op/dp/B00ITYHC46
http://www.amazon.com/Rubinstein-Piano-Quartets-Rita-Manning/dp/B00ITYHC46

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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Rubinstein

***

Leslie Howard (born 29 April 1948) is an Australian pianist and composer. He is best known for being the only pianist to have recorded the complete solo piano works of Franz Liszt, a project which included more than 300 premiere recordings. In addition to his Liszt project, Leslie Howard's recordings include works by many other composers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Howard_(musician)

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Anton Rubinstein - Piano Works (Leslie Howard)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein

CD1
  1. Deux Mélodies, Op. 3: No. 1 in F major
  2. Deux Mélodies, Op. 3: No. 2 in B major
  3. Deux Morceaux, Op. 30: No. 1 in F minor
  4. Deux Morceaux, Op. 30: No. 2 in D minor
  5. Barcarolle No. 2 in A minor, Op. 45b
  6. Barcarolle No. 3 in G minor, Op. 50 No. 3
  7. Barcarolle No. 4 in G major
  8. Fantaisie in E minor, Op. 77: 1. Adagio - Allegro con fuoco
  9. Fantaisie in E minor, Op. 77: 2. Moderato assai
  10. Fantaisie in E minor, Op. 77: 3. Allegro molto - Moderato - Allegro molto - Poco meno mosso - Presto
  11. Fantaisie in E minor, Op. 77: 4. Molto lento - Vivace assai - Tempo rubato - Quasi presto
CD2
  1. Trois Caprices, Op. 21: No. 1 in F sharp major
  2. Trois Caprices, Op. 21: No. 2 in D minor
  3. Trois Caprices, Op. 21: No. 3 in E flat major
  4. Trois Serenades, Op. 22: No. 1 in F major
  5. Trois Serenades, Op. 22: No. 2 in G minor
  6. Trois Serenades, Op. 22: No. 3 in E flat major
  7. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Theme. Lento - Allegro moderato
  8. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var I. Allegro
  9. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var II. Andante con moto
  10. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var III. Moderato con moto
  11. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var IV. Moderato
  12. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var V. Moderato
  13. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var VI. Allegro non troppo
  14. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var VII. Moderato assai
  15. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var VIII. Moderato asai
  16. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var IX. Moderato
  17. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var X. Moderato
  18. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var XI. Allegro
  19. Thème et Variations, Op. 88: Var XII. Allegro moderato

Leslie Howard, piano
Release Date: 1997
Label: Hyperion
http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDD22023

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Reviews

PERFORMANCE: **** / SOUND: *****

‘Beethoven’s bastard’ he was sometimes called, due to the supposedly striking physical resemblance between Anton Rubinstein and posthumous mentor. If true, it would have betokened the longest human pregnancy on record: Rubinstein was born two years after Beethoven’s death. Remembered nowadays (if only by pianophiles) as one of history’s greatest virtuosos, there was a time when his music ranked with the most popular ever written. Today, despite Howard’s committed and immensely accomplished advocacy here, that seems hard to believe. Ironically and sadly, a two-disc recital like this, with its saturation effect, lessens rather than strengthens the case for a revival of Rubinstein’s music in our own time. From an archival and historical point of view, on the other hand, it can be warmly recommended.

-- Jeremy Siepmann, BBC Music Magazine

More reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/Anton-Rubinstein-Solo-Piano-Music/dp/B000002ZEQ

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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Rubinstein

***

Leslie Howard (born 29 April 1948) is an Australian pianist and composer. He is best known for being the only pianist to have recorded the complete solo piano works of Franz Liszt, a project which included more than 300 premiere recordings. In addition to his Liszt project, Leslie Howard's recordings include works by many other composers.

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Anton Rubinstein - Piano Sonatas (Leslie Howard)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein

CD1:
  • (01-04) Piano Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 12
  • (05-08) Piano Sonata No. 2 in C minor, Op. 20
CD2:
  • (01-04) Piano Sonata No. 3 in F major, Op. 41
  • (05-07) Piano Sonata No. 4 in A minor, Op. 100

Leslie Howard, piano
Recording Date: 1980 (Nos. 1 & 3), 1981 (Nos. 2 & 4)
Release Date: 1996
Label: Hyperion
http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDD22007

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Reviews

It is hard to understand why this music never found a place in the repertoire; the Third and Fourth Sonatas, in particular, contain some highly effective, if eccentric, piano writing. Edward Garden in Grove intimates that it was Rubinstein's carelessness that barred him from achieving greater quality as a composer—certainly there are many awkward elements in these large-scale works, but these do not really obscure the strength of purpose behind the writing. Leslie Howard understands Rubinstein's range of temperament very well indeed and I cannot think of another pianist whose advocacy could have been more persuasive.

Anton Rubinstein was born in the Ukraine; he was of Judaeo-German extraction. Together with his younger-brother, Nikolay, he was taken around Europe as a child prodigy. Between 1844 and 1846, whilst living in Berlin, he came to know Mendelssohn. It was the latter who most influenced his style, as can be heard right from the beginning of the First Sonata. In certain respects one might say that it is the imprint of Mendelssohn's orchestral works, rather than those for piano, that is evident in the 18-year-old composer's writing. Alkan comes to mind as well—the left hand interjections and the interspersed accents in the Scherzo from the First Sonata are reminiscent of the Frenchman—although this may be coincidence. In this work the finale is much the longest movement, but there is quite a bit of writing here that sounded to me like a good reduction of an orchestral score.

The Second Sonata dates from about five years later. In the first movement the contrapuntal writing is rather didactic, but Howard plays with such authority and enthusiasm that one is willingly caught up in the music. The second movement is a Theme and Variations. The first two numbers are curiously unambitious as piano writing, whereas the third, which is more light-hearted, is individual and fresh. A near-quote from Schumann's Kreisleriana finds its way into this item. The work ends with a predictably stormy minor key movement.
Apparently, the Third Sonata of 1853–4 was Rubinstein's own favourite and he included it complete in his legendary ''Historical Recitals'' of the 1880s. A noticeable feature in his compositions is that the second subjects of movements usually contain the most memorable material and this is the case here. The virtuoso writing has developed somewhat from the earlier two pieces, quite possibly under the influence of Henselt's playing and compositions. The Scherzo in march rhythm—terse in mood and economical in notation—is one of the best things the composer ever wrote. There is an Alkanesque starkness that is highly effective, although again devices deriving from orchestral style are apparent. In the slow movement one hears music that must have had a strong impact on the young Tchaikovsky. The coda of the fourth has some very taxing passages, which Howard negotiates with terrific elan.

The last Sonata contains elements from Schumann's Fantasy and G minor Sonata, as well as Chopin's ''Funeral March'' Sonata, and an amazing energy abounds. The Scherzo has a most peculiar mixture of whimsy and bombast. It is perhaps an impression of the composer's vehemence that is the strongest feeling left by the music. Considerably later than the other three, the Fourth Sonata was composed around 1880, when Rubinstein was at the height of his powers as a pianist.

Considering that both Rubinstein's style as a composer and Howard's as a performer are rather on the large side, it is remarkable how successful the actual recording is. The piano sound is wholly acceptable and in the Second and Fourth Sonatas, recorded nearly a year after the other two, the piano tone is especially vivid.

-- James Methuen-Campbell, Gramophone

More reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Piano-Sonatas-A-Rubinstein/dp/B000002ZED

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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Rubinstein

***

Leslie Howard (born 29 April 1948) is an Australian pianist and composer. He is best known for being the only pianist to have recorded the complete solo piano works of Franz Liszt, a project which included more than 300 premiere recordings. In addition to his Liszt project, Leslie Howard's recordings include works by many other composers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Howard_(musician)

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Anton Rubinstein - Symphony No. 5; Dmitry Donskoy; Faust (Horia Andreescu)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein
  1. Symphony No. 5 in G minor "Russian", Op. 107: 1. Moderato assai
  2. Symphony No. 5 in G minor "Russian", Op. 107: 2. Allegro no troppo - Moderato assai
  3. Symphony No. 5 in G minor "Russian", Op. 107: 3. Andante
  4. Symphony No. 5 in G minor "Russian", Op. 107: 4. Allegro vivace
  5. Dmitry Donskoy, opera: Overture
  6. Faust, musical picture after Goethe, Op. 68

George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra
Horia Andreescu, conductor
Date: 1988
Label: Naxos
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.223320

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Review

The neglect of Rubinstein's symphonies and the general view that this is deserved did not seem very encouraging when this CD arrived for review. There is only one other recording and this current disc is a reissue from Marco Polo and 26 years old; the orchestra too is not regarded as top rank. The criticism of this work is that Rubinstein was looking back to the mid nineteenth century German composers rather than forward like Tchaikovsky. Without suggesting that this is an unfairly discarded masterpiece it is an agreeable piece and I'm surprised it hasn't been taken up by a major conductor and orchestra.

The first movement has a certain nod towards Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov but I felt it also sounded a bit like a Russian Dvorak. The second movement Allegro non troppo which seems to owe something to Schumann starts off enthusiastically and is quite exciting but one has to admit there is something missing to make it top class. The third movement perhaps exemplifies the ultimate problem with Rubinstein. The Andante begins with a stirring melody with a certain hymn-like quality but whereas Tchaikovsky in his Fifth Symphony produces a real belter of emotion in the second movement Rubinstein simply seems to run out of ideas. It was here that I felt a better orchestra might make more of the music but there remains a suspicion that there are fundamental flaws in the composition and orchestration. The finale Allegro vivace threatens to raise a storm but again drifts at times. The ending is really not impressive enough to leave a strong impact. That having been said I must say that it was good to hear this piece and notwithstanding certain minor shortcomings the performance and recording are more than adequate and on occasion more than this.

The surprise with Rubinstein's music on this disc is its anonymous nature and a failure to be full-blooded. Russian music, at least in my experience stirs the listener's emotions; with the best will in the world this is not the case here. The overture Dmitry Donskoy is to Rubinstein's first opera premiered in 1852 and also known as The Battle of Kulikovo - the opera itself is lost. Sadly despite some stirring themes this doesn't rise above the derivative and seems overlong for its ideas. Faustwas originally written as a movement of a symphony but this movement is all that was written. The music certainly conveys Goethe's work and has some well developed ideas. The problem is that it sounds like a torso, devoid of its other movements. The playing of the orchestra is committed which is commendable given the obscurity of the music.

At upper bargain price this disc may well be a good introduction to Rubinstein. It has to be said that it's not top-drawer music or performance but certainly of interest.

-- David R Dunsmore, MusicWeb International

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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Rubinstein

***

Horia Andreeescu (born 18 October 1946, Brașov) is a Romanian conductor. Principal conductor of the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, and founder and conductor of the Virtuosi of Bucharest Chamber Orchestra, Horia Andreescu has led the Bucharest National Radio Orchestra as artistic director for 18 years. Andreescu has recorded over nine hundred works for broadcast in Romania and abroad, and has made over sixty commercial recordings for various companies.

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Anton Rubinstein - Symphony No. 4 "Dramatic" (Robert Stankovsky)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein
  1. Symphony No. 4 in D minor "Dramatic", Op. 95: I. Lento - Allegro moderato
  2. Symphony No. 4 in D minor "Dramatic", Op. 95: II. Presto
  3. Symphony No. 4 in D minor "Dramatic", Op. 95: III. Adagio
  4. Symphony No. 4 in D minor "Dramatic", Op. 95: IV. Largo - Allegro con fuoco
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice
Robert Stankovsky, conductor
Date: 1990
Label: Naxos
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.223319

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Review

The Fourth is probably the best of Rubinstein’s Symphonies. Written in 1874 it’s a deeply uneven and ultimately unconvincing work but contains enough perplexing turbulence to elevate it far beyond the merely decorative, beyond the post Mendelssohnian symphonic statement. If it never reaches the heights of a genuine Romantic crisis symphony it contains intriguing material sufficient to warrant more than a second hearing and this Naxos issue, first issued on Marco Polo 8.223319 in 1991, provides just such an opportunity.

The First Movement opens with angular and forbidding string writing. A more exultant theme enters followed soon by a compelling species of orchestral winding-down before an explosion in a unison string outburst of genuine outpouring – a moment of deeply remarkable writing and one that seems to strain the symphonic form in which it is housed. Striving and eloquent strings follow, over a dancing pizzicato, as Rubinstein tries out his theme in differing orchestral colours and guises. Certainly the thematic material is over-repeated and it’s also somewhat underwhelming in its melodic presumptions but there are some marvelous touches – at 17’50 for example where the delicacy of the string writing shades into solos for flute, clarinet and bassoon. The conclusion of the movement reveals a little orchestral untidiness from the otherwise well-equipped Slovak Orchestra. The Presto contains some very oppositional writing though nothing as volcanic as the earlier movement. From stern unison string writing and mellow winds some jovial violin figures lead onwards to lashing animation and a melody of decisive force – the solo violin passage over ostinato basses adding another voice to the rich orchestral patina. Some of this is rather reminiscent of Raff and early Dvořák.

The Adagio is a freely moving slow movement in which strings and wind vie for dominance. The long string melody – attractive and persuasive – is later enlivened by exchanges between flutes and the warmth of the divided string section. The finale picks up the quivering angularities of the opening movement. Its turbulence is a classical mirror of the First Movement’s divergences and disjunctions. Piccolo is prominent, fractious brass increasingly so; a sturdy second theme, in F Major, and a wind episode are both of charming vivacity and impel the conclusion, which is both colourful and confidently triumphant. A decade on the Slovak State Philharmonic performance holds up well; some imprecision, a lack of string heft sometimes. But Stankovsky has a good sense of the trajectory of Rubinstein’s imaginative writing and guides us well and resolutely. There is at least one rival – Russian Disc RDCD 11357 with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Igor Golovchin and released in 1995, which I’ve not heard. But Stankovsky’s is a welcome return to the catalogue at budget price and heartily recommended.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International

More reviews:

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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Rubinstein

***

Robert Stankovsky (August 5, 1964 - January 6, 2001) was a Slovakian conductor. Till January 2001 he was active as the principal conductor of Slovak Radio Symphonic Orchestra as well as a conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Cologne Radio Orchestra.. He had recorded 36 CDs, most of them for Marco Polo and Naxos.
http://www.naxos.com/person/Robert_Stankovsky/31875.htm

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Anton Rubinstein - Symphony No. 3; Fantasia eroica (Robert Stankovsky)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein
  1. Symphony No. 3 in A major, Op. 56: I. Allegro risoluto
  2. Symphony No. 3 in A major, Op. 56: II. Adagio moderato
  3. Symphony No. 3 in A major, Op. 56: III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace assai
  4. Symphony No. 3 in A major, Op. 56: IV. Finale. Allegro maestoso
  5. Fantasia eroica, Op. 110

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Robert Stankovsky, conductor
Date: 1993
Label: Naxos
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.223576

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Review

The Symphony No. 3 in A major Op. 56 (1855) makes a useful introduction to Anton Rubinstein’s complete set of six. It’s less inflated and rhetorical than its siblings, having a directness to its thematic material that’s immediately appealing. And because No. 3 is abstract in content, and therefore far less reliant on descriptive effect than Rubinstein’s later programmatic symphonies, the orchestration is more conservative–just pairs of woodwinds, four horns, two trumpets, timpani, and strings.

Robert Stankovsky’s 1993 recording was the best installment in his complete Marco Polo cycle, and sonically the same boxy, unresonant quality persists on this Naxos reissue, with tart-sounding woodwinds, piercing brass, and under-weight strings, particularly violins. But Stankovsky’s interpretation is strong and purposeful. The arresting opening motto for strings and its contrasting C-sharp minor response from the winds each suggest a keenness of resolve and a real flair for the music’s character that’s often much less evident in this series. Stankovsky carefully marks the second subject’s arrival, easing the tempo back to give the new idea (exchanged between strings and winds) its head–but underlining the point that it comes from the same fragments heard right at the start of the work by preserving tempo relationships. There also are some nicely prepared moments in the first-movement development, when Rubinstein builds a sequential melody from parts of the first theme, with haunting solos from clarinets and oboes. Sometimes the playing could benefit from more individuality and character (the oboes in particular are rather wooden-toned), but Stankovsky allows his soloists plenty of expressive freedom, again without losing pulse.

The Adagio (strongly suggestive of Tchaikovsky) is let down by the harsh recorded sound. This mainly affects the cello solo second idea, marring an otherwise heartfelt and eloquent reading. The scherzo (in the Mendelssohn mould) tends toward heaviness, with accented bass and cello lines bringing some crudity, with insufficient contrasts of mood and color in the trio. The main ideas return in the finale, but sometimes Rubinstein’s imagination falters and the music gets a little repetitive.
Stankovsky could have induced greater interest through dynamic contrasts, but he rounds off this least successful of the four movements effectively enough, completing a more than acceptable performance.

The filler, Rubinstein’s 1884 “Eroica” Fantasy, is more heavily scored and simply too lacking in melodic interest to make its material stretch to almost half an hour’s worth of music. Rimsky-Korsakov’s description of the piece as “either bad Beethoven or poorly-orchestrated Mendelssohn” might seem harsh, but Stankovsky’s account hasn’t the clearly-focused incisiveness he brings to much of the Third symphony. [3/26/2002]

-- ClassicsToday

More reviews:
http://www.classical-music.com/review/rubinstein-0
http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/n/nxs55590a.php
http://www.amazon.com/Symphony-Eroica-Fantasia-A-Rubinstein/dp/B00005Y0MN

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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Rubinstein

***

Robert Stankovsky (August 5, 1964 - January 6, 2001) was a Slovakian conductor. Till January 2001 he was active as the principal conductor of Slovak Radio Symphonic Orchestra as well as a conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Cologne Radio Orchestra.. He had recorded 36 CDs, most of them for Marco Polo and Naxos.
http://www.naxos.com/person/Robert_Stankovsky/31875.htm

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Anton Rubinstein - Symphony No. 2 "Ocean" (Stephen Gunzenhauser)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein
  1. Symphony No. 2 in C major "Ocean", Op. 42: I. Moderato assai
  2. Symphony No. 2 in C major "Ocean", Op. 42: II. Lento assai
  3. Symphony No. 2 in C major "Ocean", Op. 42: III. Andante
  4. Symphony No. 2 in C major "Ocean", Op. 42: IV. Allegro
  5. Symphony No. 2 in C major "Ocean", Op. 42: V. Andante
  6. Symphony No. 2 in C major "Ocean", Op. 42: VI. Scherzo
  7. Symphony No. 2 in C major "Ocean", Op. 42: VII. Andante

Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
Stephen Gunzenhauser, conductor
Date: 1986
Label: Naxos

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Review

RUBINSTEIN is well known to us as an outstanding Russian pianist who rivalled and even outshone Liszt, but is less well known as a composer. Cui unfairly wrote of him not as a Russian composer but "merely as a Russian who composes". It is true that his style of composition failed follow the Russian traditions of Balakirev, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, or Cesar Cui (the famous five, Kouchka or might handful). His skills as a child virtuoso pianist had brought tours of Scandinavia, Austria, Germany, London and Paris and wide exposure to European music. The family settled in Berlin where Rubinstein took lessons in counterpoint and harmony from Glinka's former teacher, Dehn. This led him to follow the German school in style of composition. Returning to Russia he became director of the St Petersburg Conservatorium until 1867 and he turned his back on composing in the style of the nationalistic style of his Russian contemporaries. As the son of German-Jewish parents (who had chosen to become Christians) he shared a similar background to Mendelssohn and was strongly influenced by his style of composition.

The Symphony No. 2 in C Major is an unusual symphony in that it contains seven movements, the result of revision and re-revision by Rubinstein over a period of 29 years. Initially, in 1851 the symphony was written in four movements. As more ideas flooded into Rubinstein's mind the work was extended until the present form resulted in 1880. He paints a vivid musical scene of the sea, full of mood and atmosphere. The result is a well-crafted piece, first written at a time when Rubinstein was in St Petersburg, being supported by the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, sister-in-law of the Tsar. The early movements of the work are strongly influenced by Mendelssohn. Its structure is strong, but unlike the memorable themes and dynamic rhythms evident in his first symphony. The Ocean Symphony combines strong orchestral texture and colour and displays considerable technical skill in its writing. This is no Fingal's Cave yet the energy of waves and swirling oceanic currents are clearly represented in the piece.

A light and atmospheric opening (Moderato assai) gives the immediate feel of a tone poem's graphic imagery and sets the scene of an energy-filled seascape, presented in characteristically Mendelssohnian style. In the movement Rubinstein demonstrates his command of rich orchestral writing with a spontaneity of treatment using interesting woodwind phrases.

A dark Lento assai then follows with stirring sounds of turbid effervescence which provide an element of sinister foreboding. An air of mystique builds in strength, during clever orchestral dialogue between wind and strings, to provide a storm of fierce intensity. Basses and celli hover with strong murmurs of discontent whilst chromatic runs of strings, flute and piccolo weave threads of artistic meteorological wonderment before a calm eventually descends on the angry ocean. vTo follow such energetic forces an Andante carries an delicate pastorale used by Rubinstein to give a contrast and change of direction in the Symphony. One can imagine a picturesque and tranquil seascape basking in the warmth of the day. Undercurrents of oceanic currents represented by celli runs are still present but do not suppress the calmness of bobbing boats silhouetted in refracted sunlight.

An Allegro, rather scherzo-like, introduces a hint of Russian melodic invention which might have come from the pen of Tchaikovsky.

A particularly moving Andante now follows, carrying a strong romantic theme set against a rippling accompaniment of running triplets; a hybrid of Smetana's Moldau and Mendelssohn's Italian, perhaps.

A bright Scherzo provides a sailor's dance, possibly of Russian folk origin, before the movement relaxes into a gentle Trio.

The finale, Andante, is a long movement which opens with a return to the first subject with a meandering theme. It then flows into a bright rhythmic theme, which opens out with brass to possibly give the splendour of a majestic galleon arriving in port to the warm reception of its townsfolk.

Despite echoes of Tchaikovsky in the first, second and fourth movements, both in harmony and orchestral texture, there is little characteristically Russian about this splendid work by a Russian composer.

This disc is Volume 2 of Rubinstein's Symphonies, a reissue of a recording, which first appeared as a Marco Polo release, 8.220449. Marco Polo brought out a series of five of Rubinstein's forgotten Symphonies and two Concertos for Piano & Orchestra. (See note below.)

The CD recording is of excellent quality. The orchestra playing under Stephen Gunzenhauser is superb. He studied at the New England Conservatory and served under Leopold Stokowski before becoming artistic director of the Wilmington Music School. His recordings for Marco Polo/Naxos have included works by Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Liadov.

The disc carries good notes on the composer and brief notes on the work in English, French and German.

-- Raymond Walker, MusicWeb International

More reviews:
http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/n/nxs55590a.php
http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-6881/
http://www.amazon.com/Symphonies-2-A-Rubinstein/dp/B00005NUOQ
http://www.amazon.com/Rubinstein-Symphony-No-2-Ocean/dp/B0000045SR

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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Rubinstein

***

The American conductor Stephen Gunzenhauser was born in New York and is a graduate of the city’s High School of Music and Art. Gunzenhauser served both Igor Markevich in Monte Carlo and Leopold Stokowski in New York before becoming executive and artistic director of the Wilmington Music School in 1974. Gunzenhauser is a prolific recording artist and has sold over two million discs.

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Anton Rubinstein; César Cui - Violin Concerto; Suite Concertante (Takako Nishizaki)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein; César Cui
  1. Rubinstein - Violin Concerto in G major, Op. 46: I. Moderato assai
  2. Rubinstein - Violin Concerto in G major, Op. 46: II. Andante
  3. Rubinstein - Violin Concerto in G major, Op. 46: III. Moderato assai
  4. Cui - Suite Concertante, Op. 25: I. Intermezzo scherzando
  5. Cui - Suite Concertante, Op. 25: II. Canzonetta
  6. Cui - Suite Concertante, Op. 25: III. Cavatina
  7. Cui - Suite Concertante, Op. 25: IV. Finale. Tarantella
Takako Nishizaki, violin
Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Michael Halász (1-3)
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Kenneth Schermerhorn (4-7)
Date: 1984 (4-7), 1985 (1-3)
Label: Naxos
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.555244

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Anton Rubinstein - Fantaisie; Concertstück (Joseph Banowetz)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein
  1. Fantaisie, Op. 84: Allegro moderato
  2. Fantaisie, Op. 84: Moderato
  3. Fantaisie, Op. 84: Moderato assai
  4. Fantaisie, Op. 84: Allegro
  5. Concertstück, Op. 113: Moderato assai
  6. Concertstück, Op. 113: Con moto moderato
  7. Concertstück, Op. 113: Allegro vivace

Joseph Banowetz, conductor
Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Oliver Dohnányi, conductor
Date: 1989
Label: Marco Polo
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.223190

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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Rubinstein

***

Joseph Banowetz (born December 5, 1936) is an American-born pianist, pedagogue, author, and editor, currently teaching at the University of North Texas. Among his teachers are Carl Friedberg (a pupil of German composer/pianist Clara Schumann) and György Sándor (a pupil of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók). Banowetz is an expert on the music of the Russian Romantic Composer, Anton Rubinstein.

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Anton Rubinstein - Piano Concerto No. 5; Caprice russe (Joseph Banowetz)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein
  1. Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 94: I. Allegro moderato
  2. Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 94: II. Andante
  3. Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 94: III. Allegro
  4. Caprice russe (Russian Capriccio) in C minor, Op. 102

Joseph Banowetz, piano
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Robert Stankovsky, conductor
Date: 1993
Label: Marco Polo
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.223489

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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Rubinstein

***

Joseph Banowetz (born December 5, 1936) is an American-born pianist, pedagogue, author, and editor, currently teaching at the University of North Texas. Among his teachers are Carl Friedberg (a pupil of German composer/pianist Clara Schumann) and György Sándor (a pupil of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók). Banowetz is an expert on the music of the Russian Romantic Composer, Anton Rubinstein.

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Anton Rubinstein - Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4 (Joseph Banowetz)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein
  1. Piano Concerto No. 3 in G major, Op. 45: I. Moderato assai
  2. Piano Concerto No. 3 in G major, Op. 45: II. Moderato
  3. Piano Concerto No. 3 in G major, Op. 45: III. Allegro non troppo
  4. Piano Concerto No. 4 in D minor, Op. 70: I. Moderato assai
  5. Piano Concerto No. 4 in D minor, Op. 70: II. Andante
  6. Piano Concerto No. 4 in D minor, Op. 70: III. Allegro

Joseph Banowetz, piano
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice
Robert Stankovsky, conductor
Date: 1991
Label: Marco Polo
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.223382

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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Rubinstein

***

Joseph Banowetz (born December 5, 1936) is an American-born pianist, pedagogue, author, and editor, currently teaching at the University of North Texas. Among his teachers are Carl Friedberg (a pupil of German composer/pianist Clara Schumann) and György Sándor (a pupil of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók). Banowetz is an expert on the music of the Russian Romantic Composer, Anton Rubinstein.
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Anton Rubinstein - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 (Joseph Banowetz)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein
  1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 25: I. Moderato
  2. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 25: II. Andante con moto
  3. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 25: III. Con moto
  4. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 35: I. Allegro vivace assai
  5. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 35: II. Adagio non troppo
  6. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 35: III. Moderato

Joseph Banowetz, piano
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice
Alfred Walter, conductor
Date:
Label: Marco Polo
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.223456

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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Rubinstein

***

Joseph Banowetz (born December 5, 1936) is an American-born pianist, pedagogue, author, and editor, currently teaching at the University of North Texas. Among his teachers are Carl Friedberg (a pupil of German composer/pianist Clara Schumann) and György Sándor (a pupil of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók). Banowetz is an expert on the music of the Russian Romantic Composer, Anton Rubinstein.

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Anton Rubinstein - A Collection (Mark Ermler; Gennady Rozhdestvensky; Alexander Bahichev)


Information

Composer: Anton Rubinstein
  1. Demon, opera: Demon's aria "In the ocean of air" (from Act II)
  2. Demon, opera: Choir "The Night" (from Act I)
  3. Demon, opera: Lezghinka (from Act II)
  4. Demon, opera: Romance Tamara 'The night is warm, quiet night' (from Act III)
  5. Melody in F major, Op. 3 No. 1
  6. Melody in B major, Op. 3 No. 2
  7. Serenade in D minor, Op. 93 No. 9
  8. Impromptu in F major
  9. Mazurka in D minor, Op. 75 No. 10
  10. Waltz in E minor, Op. 109 No. 2
  11. Barcarolle in G minor, Op. 50 No. 3
  12. Romance "Night"
  13. Symphony No. 2 in C major "Ocean", Op. 42: I. Moderato assai

Yuri Mazurok, baritone (1)
Maria Bieşu, soprano (4)
Bolshoi Theatre Chorus, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra (1-4)
Mark Ermler, conductor (1, 4)
Gennady Rozhdestvensky, conductor (2)
Boris Haykin, conductor (3)
Alexander Bahichev, piano (5-11)
Irina Arkhipova, mezzo-soprano (12)
Igor Gusel'nikov, piano (12)
USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra, cond. Fuat Mansurov (13)

Date: 1961 (3), 1965 (2), 1966 (1), 1970 (5-11), 1971 (4), 1975 (12), 1982 (13)
Label: Melodiya



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Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein (November 28 [O.S.November 16] 1829 – November 20 [O.S. November 8] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein who founded the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks amongst the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life.
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Friday, April 1, 2016

Anton Bruckner - Symphonies Nos. 1 & 9; Te Deum (Bernard Haitink)


Information

Composer: Anton Bruckner

CD1:
  1. Te Deum for soloists, chorus & orchestra: 1. Te Deum laudamus
  2. Te Deum for soloists, chorus & orchestra: 2. Te ergo
  3. Te Deum for soloists, chorus & orchestra: 3. Aeterna fac
  4. Te Deum for soloists, chorus & orchestra: 4. Salvum fac
  5. Te Deum for soloists, chorus & orchestra: 5. In te, Domine, speravi
  6. Symphony No. 1 in C minor (1877 Linz, ed. Haas): 1. Allegro molto moderato
  7. Symphony No. 1 in C minor (1877 Linz, ed. Haas): 2. Adagio
  8. Symphony No. 1 in C minor (1877 Linz, ed. Haas): 3. Scherzo. Lebhaft
  9. Symphony No. 1 in C minor (1877 Linz, ed. Haas): 4. Finale. Bewegt und feurig
CD2:
  1. Symphony No. 9 in D minor (1894, ed. Nowak): 1. Feierlich. Misterioso
  2. Symphony No. 9 in D minor (1894, ed. Nowak): 2. Scherzo (Bewegt lebhaft) - Trio (Schnell) - Scherzo da capo
  3. Symphony No. 9 in D minor (1894, ed. Nowak): 3. Adagio (Langsam, feierlich)

Karita Mattila, soprano (Te Deum)
Susanne Mentzer, mezzo-soprano (Te Deum)
Vinson Cole, tenor (Te Deum)
Robert Holl, bass (Te Deum)
Bavarian Radio Chorus (Te Deum)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Te Deum)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Nos. 1 & 9)
Bernard Haitink, conductor

Date: 1965 (No. 9), 1972 (No. 1), 1989 (Te Deum)
Label: Philips
http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4738862

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Review

Great Early Haitink in both Early and Late Bruckner

This is the second of two Bruckner Te Deum's that Bernard Haitink recorded for Philips. In contrast to his rather uninspiring 1960s version, his later 1988 reading has that right mix of piety, passion, and grandiloquence that make Bruckner's work so moving and memorable. Soloists Mattila, Mentzer, Cole, and Holl all offer expressive and beautifully toned singing, while the rich-sounding Bavarian Radio Chorus sings with a heartwarming fervor. The Vienna Philharmonic provides characteristically fulsome and polished playing throughout, and the recording nicely balances the assembled forces, including the organ, which fits comfortably into the sonic mix. 

Haitink conducts a sharp and lean Symphony No. 1, with quick tempos that project a vibrant, youthful quality that belies the fact that the composer was in his early 40s when he wrote it. The Concertgebouw brass sound is brighter of timbre than that of the Vienna Philharmonic, but it has a piercing power that's particularly effective in the first movement (the trombone's big tune rings out with real splendor). Meanwhile the strings offer sumptuous sonorities of their own in the poignant Adagio, and the whole is captured in Philips' warm and spacious 1970s analog sound. 

This 1965 Ninth is a classic rendition that, along with Zubin Metha's Vienna recording, was a prime recommendation during the LP era. Haitink's cogent conducting draws together the seemingly disparate sections of Bruckner's massive first movement and gives the music a dramatic focus (his rhythmic timpani-beats in the coda are an original and striking effect). The slightly slower than usual Scherzo emphasizes that movement's grandiose humor, while the shimmering Concertgebouw strings lend the closing Adagio a transcendent radiance. Haitink topped himself in the 1980s with an even more gripping rendition that featured powerfully dark sonorities from the Concertgebouw, along with more striking recorded sound. But this earlier version accurately conveys the conductor's uniquely affective way with the score--especially in this clear, solid, and finely detailed remastering.

-- Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday

More reviews:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bruckner-Symphonies-Deum-Bernard-Haitink/dp/B0000942JV

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Anton Bruckner (4 September 1824 – 11 October 1896)) was an Austrian composer. His symphonies are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, strongly polyphonic character, and considerable length. Bruckner composed eleven symphonies, scored for a fairly standard orchestra. His orchestration was modeled after the sound of his primary instrument, the pipe organ.

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Bernard Haitink (born 4 March 1929) is a Dutch conductor. In his glowing career, he is the principal conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw (1959-1988), London Philharmonic (1967-1979), Chicago Symphony (2006-2010) and and principal guest conductor Boston Symphony (1995-2004). Haitink has conducted and recorded a wide variety of repertoire, with the complete symphonies of Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Bruckner, Mahler, Shostakovich and Vaughan Williams, and the complete piano concertos of Beethoven and Brahms with Claudio Arrau notable among his recordings.

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