Never before have all Arthur Rubinstein albums been available together like this. Arthur Rubinstein – The Complete Album Collection features all of the legendary pianist’s issued recordings made by RCA Victor between 1940 and 1976, plus one recording issued on the DECCA label in 1978. Also included in this set are the recordings Rubinstein made in England for the His Master’s Voice (HMV) label between 1928 and 1940. As a bonus, this special package also has the sensational world-premiere release of two Carnegie Hall concerts recorded on December 8 and 10, 1961.
Russian pianist Mikhail Pletnev has an astoundingly clean and virtuosic technique. He has the ability to bring out inner voices that in some other recordings are completely lost. These skills are sometimes enough to make his interpretations of these three early and middle period Beethoven sonatas completely satisfying. The third movement of the "Moonlight" Sonata, for example, is absolutely electrifying in its virtuosity. The first movement of the"Waldstein" and the final movement of "Appassionata" are brisk, energetic, and always completely under control. Movements such as these, where the performer's technique truly comes to the forefront, are absolutely satisfying here.
"If you like Artur Rubinstein's Chopin, then this is a disc to get. (…) Everyone will have favourite recordings (Perahia in the Ballades, Richter or Arrau in the Scherzi)but the more you listen to Rubenstein the more you understand his reputation as a Chopin magician…" ~sa-cd.net
Arthur Rubinstein had performed Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 many times throughout his concert career; in fact, this was one of the pieces on the program of his first public concert given in 1900. The style in which he plays it is simply captivating. It's not a serious concerto in the German-school, but rather a light-hearted and somewhat amusing concerto. This is probably the most famous recording of the composition, and it's no wonder why. The Symphonic Variations of Cesar Franck are fantastic, full of energy, vitality and French-Romantic beauty.
Rubinstein's heartfelt affinity and mastery of Brahms' burly piano writing is never in doubt, although the pianist's remake 10 years later with Erich Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony benefits from his greater introspection and expressive simplicity in the first movement's lyrical second theme and the entirety of the slow movement. All told, the volatile Rubinstein/Reiner Brahmsian chemistry holds its own after more than half a century. –Jed Distler, Classicstoday.com
"This is absolutely the best recording of Frederic Chopin's Piano Concertos! I heard many recordings of these familiar works (for example: Zimmermann, Polish Festival Orchestra, DG), but this recording beats my all old favorites. (…) This is excellent purchase for all classical music lovers! It is very good, that Living Stereo label publishes old masterful recordings on multi-channel SACD! Incredible!" ~sa-cd.net