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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very intense, 8 Nov 2009
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enthusiast "enthusiast" (sussex, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quintette Avec Piano (Audio CD)
These are extraordinarily intense readings and this record is really something quite special. The Guarnari Quartet make the most adorably warm sound and play with real flair and imagination and Rubinstein's contribution is, of course, big and passionate. There is nothing at all comfortable in these readings and they are perhaps larger than life. You might also want a more "normal" reading (of the Dvorak particularly) but you will certainly respond to these accounts ... they will exhaust and drain you while they excite and inspire you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice Dvorak; reservations about the sound in the Brahms, 22 Jan 2014
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Stanley Crowe (Greenville, SC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quintette Avec Piano (Audio CD)
Great music, and warm sound, but in the Brahms things seem all a bit up-close, and Arnold Steinhardt's violin in particular never sounded as sweet as it should have. In the Dvorak, on the other hand (with a different re-mix engineer), things seem in much better balance. There's a little more air around the sound, and the playing in the higher regions comes across all the better for it. In the Brahms, I was most bothered by the sound in the first two movements; maybe I just got used to it over time, but yet, through my Bose headphones, the difference when we moved to the Dvorak was palpable. Rubinstein was 80 when the Brahms was recorded; the Dvorak was four years later. It's lovely playing -- Santa Fe Listener, on American amazon.com, calls it tentative. I would call it a bit uninflected, coming at one with nice tone but little light and shade. That could partly be the recording's fault. Still, these are performances I'm glad to have heard.

Personal note: I heard Rubinstein give a solo recital in St. Louis in 1967, the year of the Brahms recording. Schumann's "Carnaval" and Beethoven's "Waldstein" were on the program. I remember R. striding on to the stage with a big grin, like a man 30 years younger. I'm glad to have heard that too -- he played beautifully.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rubinstein + Brahms + Dvorak = Genius cubed, 5 Jan 2012
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Reviewing recordings at this level is difficult. You have Rubinstein, Brahms and Dvorak. What can go wrong? I have several recordings of the piano quintet op 34 by Brahms because it is one of my favourite pieces. I heard it first live and fell in love with it. Brahms makes a quintet sound like an orchestra. I also have a lot of Rubinstein because I adore his interpretation and playing, particularly of Chopin. Rubinstein makes the piano sound like the voice of eternity.
This is an intense and stirring recording and rewards careful listening - or any kind of listening. I listen to it most often of my recordings of this piece and I always flow into the Dvorak at the end feeling enhanced and triumphant. If I had to choose only one from my recordings of this I would surely choose this one.
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Quintette Avec Piano
Quintette Avec Piano by Guarneri (Quatuor) & Rubinstei (Audio CD - 2001)
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