Rubinstein’s interpretations of Chopin’s waltzes are considered by many to be the finest; they are also the performances that many will have grown up with. This disc certainly doesn’t disappoint – Rubinstein handles each waltz with vivacity and grace, tempo rubato being deployed with great understanding of the music (as one might expect from Rubinstein). People are likely to be more familiar with some of the waltzes than others, the famous ‘Grande Valse Brillante’ (Op. 18) and the ‘Minute’ (Op. 64 No. 1) being particularly well-known, for instance, but listening to each and every one of these pieces is a joy.
It says a great deal that the Impromptus, Fantaisie-Impromptu and the Boléro can be considered a very welcome bonus; it would be worth buying the disc for the waltzes alone. The Impromptus are performed with great aplomb, while the Boléro does not deserve to be considered a ‘minor work’. This digitally remastered disc is not only a wonderful addition to a record collection: it is an essential one.