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Arthur Rubinstein: Chopin Box set


Price: £81.36 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Performer: Artur Rubinstein
  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: John Barbirolli
  • Composer: Frederic Chopin
  • Audio CD (1 Oct 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000002S59
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 438,329 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Piano Concerto No. 1 In E minor, Op. 11: Allegro maestoso risoluto
2. Piano Concerto No. 1 In E minor, Op. 11: Romanze (Larghetto) -
3. Piano Concerto No. 1 In E minor, Op. 11: Rondo vivace
4. Piano Concerto No. 2 In F minor, Op. 21: Maestoso
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Nocturne No. 4 In F Major, Op. 15 No. 1
2. Nocturne No. 5 In F Sharp Major, Op. 15 No. 2
3. Nocturne No. 6 In G Minor, Op. 15 No. 3
4. Nocturne No. 7 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 1
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Waltz In A-Flat Major, Op. 34, No. 1
2. Mazurka In F-Sharp Minor, Op. 6, No.1
3. Mazurka In C-Sharp Minor, Op. 6, No.2
4. Mazurka In E-Major, Op. 6, No.3
See all 33 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Mazurka In B-Major, Op. 56, No. 1
2. Mazurka In C-Major, Op. 56, No. 2
3. Mazurka In C-Minor, Op. 56, No. 3
4. Mazurka In A-Minor, Op. 59, No. 1
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Barcaolle In F-Sharp Major, Op. 60
2. Berseuse In D-Flar Major
3. Polonaise In C-Sharp Major, Op. 26, No. 1
4. Polonaise In E-Flat Major, Op. 26, No.2
See all 10 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Austin HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 20 Jan 2003
During many decades of browsing in record shops looking for new and used CDs, I have never once seen any second hand copies of a Chopin recording made by Arthur Rubinstein. A professional pianist once told me, "I know why that is. Rubinstein was the most consistently successful of all Chopin interpreters. Owners of his Chopin recordings won't part with them."
The word "consistent" came to mind as I listened to this box of CDs recently in order to contribute a brief review. Rubinstein, one feels, always got it right. Here is the controlled rubato that Chopin authorized, the poetry, the strength and the delicacy. Perhaps he is a shade better in the mazurkas than elsewhere - notoriously difficult works to bring off - and less successful than Solomon in sustaining a sense of repose in the berceuse, but nothing here falls below five star quality.
Happily, the sound quality is uniformly excellent too, always matching and sometimes excelling the sound quality of Reubinstein's later recorded versions of this repertoire. All of which adds up to a strong recommendation for this 5 CD box of Rubinstein's HMV Chopin recordings.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Klingsor Tristan VINE VOICE on 1 Mar 2007
These are the earlier discs of Rubinstein's Chopin, recorded by HMV in London during the 1930's. It is less complete than his later recordings for RCA - no Sonatas, no Ballades, no Etudes. The sound is naturally of its time - but in many ways more natural than the sharply-lit, slightly edgy piano sound RCA favoured in the 50's and 60's. Nevertheless, these are the Chopin performances I return to most.

Rubinstein's natural affinity with Chopin is legendary. He seemed always able to capture precisely the right degree of rubato at exactly the right moment in these pieces. And he had a unique ability in his countryman's music to balance the lyrical with the impassioned, what seems completely spontaneous with what is clearly deeply considered. The Nocturnes here are, I think, the best you'll hear anywhere on disc. In the greatest of them - the Opp.37 & 48 sets, for example - Rubinstein gets the contrast between the dreamy nocturnal outer sections with the darker, more impassioned central sections just right. These are not salon miniatures in his hands but big works, if not in length then in content. And no-one can match Rubinstein in the elusive diversity of this complete set of Mazurkas. The two Concerti both have Barbirolli as the sympathetic conductor, following Rubinstein's lead in the ebb and flow of phrases and whole sections of these gorgeous and often maligned works. Interestingly the recording of Concerto No.2 (actually the first composed) dates from before the pianist's famous withdrawal from public performance to reconstruct his technique and his approach, that of Concerto No.1 from after. Perhaps one can detect a touch more maturity and refinement in his approach to the latter, but they are both ravishing performances.
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Verified Purchase
While the recording quality is not the best, the quality and feeling in the music is AMAZING. I first came across this on vinyl 35 years ago, and am so excited to be able to listen to it again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Chopin at its best 24 Feb 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This early collection of Chopin by its ultimate master is a superb, moving collection of Chopin's best. Many have claimed that Rubinstein's early recordings of Chopin are more virtuosic than musical. Nonsense. Listen to the nocturnes and many of the mazurkas and you will be moved. The scherzos have a visceral impact (especially the third) that cannot be matched by anyone, not Horowitz, not Argerich. THe sound quality leaves more to be desired but other than that, this is the best recording in terms of sheer raw pianism and musicality of this music. Superb!
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Some of the Best Chopin Recordings Ever 27 Mar 2001
By "johnpiano2" - Published on Amazon.com
If someone put a gun to my head and demanded to know the best choice for a Chopin cd purchase, I would state with confidence "get the EMI classics Rubinstein collection". These recordings, made mostly in the 30s, contain some of the very best Chopin ever recorded. I've spent a lot of effort trying to find definitive versions of every Chopin piece, with the result that the Rubinstein 30s recordings of the Concertos, Nocturnes, Mazurkas (which are contained in the present set) are historically definitive. For competitors, I mention Moravec's 60s recording of the Nocturnes and Zimerman's two recordings of the concertos. I know of no better recording of the complete Mazurkas. Also, no Chopin fan should be without the present recordings of the Scherzi and Polonaises, which have few competitors. For the Barcarolle I suggest Dinu Lipatti, and for the Berceuse, Solomon. But each recording here, definitive or not, is first rate and a front runner. The recordings were made at the beginning of a transition period Rubinstein made in his 40s when he forced himself to relearn his repertiore in a more disciplined manner than he had previously; it was at this stage in his life that Rubinstein acquired the status of being one of the greatest piano artists of the century. Thus these recordings are very inspired and more reliable than later Chopin recordings he made. Of course Rubinstein is, over all pianists, most closely associated with Chopin. This is somewhat unfair in the sense that there are many brilliant pianists who have outstanding recordings of Chopin which do compare and sometimes exceed Rubinstein's. The present set is an outstanding selection which will best represent Rubinstein's contribution to a library of Chopin recordings.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
THE GREATEST OF CHOPIN PIANISTS 1 Mar 2007
By Klingsor Tristan - Published on Amazon.com
These are the earlier discs of Rubinstein's Chopin, recorded by HMV in London during the 1930's. It is less complete than his later recordings for RCA - no Sonatas, no Ballades, no Etudes. The sound is naturally of its time - but in many ways more natural than the sharply-lit, slightly edgy piano sound RCA favoured in the 50's and 60's. Nevertheless, these are the Chopin performances I return to most.

Rubinstein's natural affinity with Chopin is legendary. He seemed always able to capture precisely the right degree of rubato at exactly the right moment in these pieces. And he had a unique ability in his countryman's music to balance the lyrical with the impassioned, what seems completely spontaneous with what is clearly deeply considered. The Nocturnes here are, I think, the best you'll hear anywhere on disc. In the greatest of them - the Opp.37 & 48 sets, for example - Rubinstein gets the contrast between the dreamy nocturnal outer sections with the darker, more impassioned central sections just right. These are not salon miniatures in his hands but big works, if not in length then in content. And no-one can match Rubinstein in the elusive diversity of this complete set of Mazurkas. The two Concerti both have Barbirolli as the sympathetic conductor, following Rubinstein's lead in the ebb and flow of phrases and whole sections of these gorgeous and often maligned works. Interestingly the recording of Concerto No.2 (actually the first composed) dates from before the pianist's famous withdrawal from public performance to reconstruct his technique and his approach, that of Concerto No.1 from after. Perhaps one can detect a touch more maturity and refinement in his approach to the latter, but they are both ravishing performances.

Many of the performances on these 5 discs are the greatest Chopin you're likely to hear. And the ear soon adjusts to the somewhat old-fashioned recorded piano sound. This is a highly desirable set for any lover of Chopin and/or great piano playing.
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
RECORDING QUALITY IS A FACTOR 9 Feb 2005
By Page T. Oneill - Published on Amazon.com
Otherwise, I would have given 5 stars. The fact that these have a hiss (and you can practically hear him close the piano on several numbers) should be mentioned. I guess we are spoiled to audio quality, but this is an expensive collection and this fact was glaringly omitted. That said, I have enjoyed the recordings, in spite of the very audible hiss.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Love it. 22 Jun 2006
By Tib - Published on Amazon.com
This is my favorite album. I think that not even Rubinstein's later recordings attain this quality of musical involvment.

There is a fair amount of background noise, but the music helps to forget it rather quickly overall.
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