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Rubinstein: Symphonies Vol. 1 [CD]

Anton Rubinstein , Róbert Stankovský , Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra Audio CD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Frequently Bought Together

Rubinstein: Symphonies Vol. 1 + Rubinstein: Symphony No. 2 'Ocean' + Rubinstein: Symphony No. 3 / Eroica Fantasia
Price For All Three: £17.99

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Róbert Stankovský
  • Composer: Anton Rubinstein
  • Audio CD (30 April 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00005COXX
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,624 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony No. 1 in F Major, Op. 40 - Czecho-Slovak State PO/Stankovsky.
2. Ivan The Terrible, Op. 79 - Czecho-Slovak State PO/Stankovsky.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Anton Rubinstein's first symphony dates from 1850, a period in his life when he was consciously and resolutely eschewing any Russian nationalist influences on his music. It stands therefore firmly in the Central European/German oriented musical tradition and if there could be said to be any well-known composer influencing this work, it would probably be Mendelssohn.

If Mendelssohn is an influence, however, it's in the sense that the music sounds derivative of - rather than inspired by - the greater composer and Rubinstein's symphony is a ploddingly old-fashioned sounding piece for 1850. What really strikes you about this music is the extreme poverty of invention, particularly in the outer movements where there is nary a musical motif or melody to capture your interest in the eminently conventional symphonic argument. The harmony is pedestrian and rhythmically the music is stodgy and laboured. Rubinstein's orchestration is very ordinary as well, with little evidence of a gift for - or even an interest in - colour or effect. If the work had been composed in the German lands that are its spiritual home, it would probably have been labelled "Kapellmeister music" - the description accurately reflects its workmanlike and professional characteristics but even so is perhaps unfair to the second and third rank composers who actually were writing similarly competent and unadventurous but more memorably charming music than we have here.

The `Musical Portrait - Ivan the Terrible' (also known as `Ivan IV') is a later work, hailing from 1869 when the Mighty Handful had started to make their mark on the Russian musical scene.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 15 Aug 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
excellent recording
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Symphony worth listenning to. 18 Dec 2013
By Bartok
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This symphony is full of youthful high spirits and confidence, it bounds along with rhythm and melodic invention. Tchaikovsky thought that Raff and Rubinstein were the foremost symphonic composers of his day, while I may not be able to agree with Tchaikovsky on that one when symphonic composers as wonderful as Dvorak and Brahms were his contemporaries, for me Tchaikovsky's opinion carries more weight than a whole heap of critics who pass on the received opinions concerning Rubinstein's music without actually thinking. Tchaikovsky's bracketing of Raff and Rubinstein together is informative, both composers continue the legacy of Mendelssohn, both composers rely on the strings as the basis of orchestral writing, and both composers approach the tradition of instrumental composition with an earnestness of purpose. Rubinstein's first symphony also has Beethovian influences, the occasional chromatic bass line in the first movement brings to mind passages in the first movement of Beethoven's 7th, as the slow and deliberate tread of the Moderato third movement of Rubinstein's first recalls the second movement of Beethoven's 7th. I suspect the marching thymes of the finale of Rubinstein's first are an attempt to emulate the finale of Beethoven's 7th, but here Rubinstein falls some way short - perhaps a quicker tempo in the finale would have helped. That said the symphony is well worth listening to, it is joyful and positive with singable melodic content. The orchestra plays well enough, but I would love to hear the Berlin Phil or Vienna Phil give a real sheen and polish to the string sound of this symphony.

Ivan the Terrible is a far more Lisztian composition, in conception and in orchestration, it gives a surprisingly considered view of this complex Russian despot.
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