27 October, 2010

RCA Living Stereo: Chopin (Rubinstein) - Ballades & Scherzos (1959) (eac-log-cover)

RCA Living Stereo: Chopin - Ballades & Scherzos (1959)
Arthur Rubinstein, piano
classical | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 330MB
RCA | SACD | rel.: 2004
Little new can be added to what's been said of these tried, true, and extremely satisfying catalog staples. Their most recent transfer in RCA's 1999 complete Rubinstein collection boasts a fullness and impact unmatched in earlier CD transfers. However, the advantage of SACD's multi-channel format allows home listeners to perceive the left, center, and right three-track stereo perspective as originally captured in the master tape, as opposed to a two-channel mixdown. The results yield a more realistic sense of how Rubinstein's fabled tone projects and congeals in the venue (New York's Manhattan Center), along with more air between the notes plus sundry bench and music-rack noises (Rubinstein's future producer Max Wilcox turning pages, I gather). While the aforementioned Rubinstein Edition CD appears to be mastered at a higher level, with slightly more emphasis in the bass, the SACD's overall ambience wins the day, even when reproduced on a conventional two-channel CD player.
In an era full of hotshot keyboard youngsters determined to put their individual stamp on Chopin's Ballades and Scherzos by way of willful rubatos and contrived inner voices, Rubinstein's respect for the score, controlled freedom, and unerring sense of proportion prove how sanity and inspiration are not mutually exclusive interpretive properties. A few examples will suffice. For instance, when the pianist lingers over the First Ballade's E-flat major subject, he still provides a strong rhythmic backbone in the left-hand accompaniment to anchor it. Many pianists blur the Second Scherzo's famous opening triplets; instead Rubinstein articulates them without compromising their spookiness. While his earlier Third and Fourth Scherzo recordings from 1932 and 1950 may dare and scintillate more, the slower stereo remakes better cohere and flow. Will further Rubinstein SACD releases capture the pianist's generous artistic presence so vividly?

-1. Ballade for Piano no 1 in G minor, B 66/Op. 23
-2. Ballade for Piano no 2 in F major/a minor, B 102/Op. 38
-3. Ballade for Piano no 3 in A flat major, B 136/Op. 47
-4. Ballade for Piano no 4 in F minor, B 146/Op. 52
-5. Scherzo for Piano no 1 in B minor, B 65/Op. 20
-6. Scherzo for Piano no 2 in B flat minor/D flat major, B 111/Op. 31
-7. Scherzo for Piano no 3 in C sharp minor, B 125/Op. 39
-8. Scherzo for Piano no 4 in E major, B 148/Op. 54
Written: 1831-42
Rec: 1959
Manhattan Center, NYC

Artur Rubinstein (Piano)


durmoll said...

p: lworld

durmoll said...

read (about linx):


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