The great pianists: Arthur Rubinstein

Arthur Rubinstein (1887–1982) was one of the greatest concert pianists who ever lived, and we are very lucky to have so many clips of his playing and concerts on YouTube. He was considered one of, if not, the best interpreter of the music of Frederic Chopin. Fortunately for us, there are many YouTube clips of his playing, including concerts he gave.

This YouTube clip is from a live concert he performed in Moscow (in Russia) in 1964. This clip is not the whole concert but near the end of his concert, plus many encores. An encore is when a performer plays more pieces at the end of his or her concert that are not written in the program. That’s why people in the audience cheer “Encore! Encore!” at the ends of concerts, they want the performer to come out and play more music for them!

At 22:30 is a very famous waltz by Frederic Chopin, you may recognize the tune!

At 28:30 is a piece by Robert Schumann called Des Abends (which means “In the Evening” in German)

At 37:10 Ondine (from his Preludes, Book II) by Claude Debussy, a French composer.

At 41:40 O Polichinelo (“The Punch”) by Hector Villa-Lobos (a composer from Brazil)
You will not believe how fast his fingers go!

Kids, you know how I am always bugging you about your posture, playing with arm weight and loose, flexible wrists? Watch Arthur Rubinstein play and you will see all of these in action; when I watch him play I just cannot take my eyes off of his incredible technique (or my ears away from the sound!)

Complete list of pieces and where they occur in the video:
Chopin:
00:19  Polonaise, Opus 44.
11:18  Impromptu, Opus 51.
16:30  Nocturne, Opus 27 N.º 2.
22:55  Waltz, Opus 34 N.º 2.
Schumann: 28:35  Des Abends, Opus 12 N.º 1.
Chopin: 33:02  Waltz, Opus 34 N.º 1.
Debussy: 37:36  Ondine ( Preludes, Book II ).
Villa-Lobos: 41:50  O Polichinello.

Here is a photo of him when he was 19 years old.

Arthur Rubinstein in 1906.
Arthur Rubinstein in 1906.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s