Detroit Symphony – Paul Paray, Cond. – Arthur Rubinstein, Piano – January 7, 1960 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
More history this week – a rare broadcast performance featuring the legendary pianist Arthur Rubinstein and the Detroit Symphony conducted by Music Director Paul Paray in music of Wagner, Walton, Delius, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. It was recorded on January 7, 1960 and features an intermission interview with Rubinstein.
One of the 20th century’s two most iconic classical pianists, Arthur Rubinstein (1887–1982) was a very different man and musician than Vladimir Horowitz, his peer and fellow household name. Rather than a neurotic recluse, Rubinstein was a polyglot raconteur and indefatigable bon vivant who lived to perform; instead of a fire-breathing dynamo, Rubinstein was an elegant virtuoso, his mature playing a spontaneous balance of color, lyricism and verve, with a rich, warm tone; not only a recitalist and concerto soloist, Rubinstein was also an enthusiastic player of chamber music, collaborating over his long career with Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky, Henryk Szeryng, Emanuel Feuermann, Pierre Fournier and the Guarneri Quartet, among others. Of course, Rubinstein — who was born in Lódz, Poland — became the 20th-century embodiment of Chopin’s music, interpreting the Polish composer’s poetry with sinew as well as sighs.
Paul Paray was one of the more celebrated French conductors of the 1920s and 1930s. He made his U.S. debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1939 and was appointed Music Director of the Detroit Symphony in 1952, where he shortly after embarked on the legendary series of recordings to be known as the Mercury Living Presence series which were not only hailed for their sonic brilliance at the time, but established Paray with American audiences as one of the most brilliant. Although he had long enjoyed a stellar reputation in Europe for quite some time.
This program is pretty varied and quite enjoyable. Here’s what’s on the player:
Detroit Symphony – Paul Paray, Cond. – Artur Rubinstein, Piano – January 7, 1960
Wagner: Overture to Rienzi
Walton: Facade Suite Number 1
Mozart: Piano Concerto in A Major Number 23
Intermission feature Interview with Rubinstein
Delius: A Walk to The Paradise Garden
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concert Number 1 (w/Rubinstein)
Just a shade under two hours. Enjoy.
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