Monday, April 24, 2017

Rubinstein, Arthur. (1829-1894) Cello Sonatas No.1&2.

From my collection.
Bought in 2012.
First listen: 2-2-2012.
Second listen: 5-2-2012.
Third listen: 24-4-2017.
Label: Hyperion.
Recording dates: January 2008.
Recording venue: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England.
Recording engineer: Simon Eadon.
Running time: 70:55.
Classical relevance to me: Worthwhile.

Works performed:
Cello Sonata No. 1 in D major, opus 18.
No. 2 in G major, opus 39.

Performed by:
Jiří Bárta, Cello.
Hamish Milne, Piano.

Always kept an eye on the music by Arthur Rubinstein. I collected over the years some of his music, and most of it I found quite invigorating, and liked, his very individual style, to be found in many of his compositions. It is a pity that most of his 200 opus numbers are totally forgotten. Of course he does not deserve that, but then many composers went down that road. There is some orchestral as well as chamber music recorded, and most of it I have, including these wonderful cello sonatas on Hyperion which I had quite forgotten. Even I forget composers.
Two fine musicians adopted the cello sonatas, and really, quite well performed they are. Romanticism at its highest level is the name of the game, and he was quite adept in it. These are no slight compositions, but clearly belong to the best works in this genre ever composed. Every movement is expressive and soaked in yearning melodies, in themselves a well of creativity, which pours out in abundance, overflowing almost...
Rubinstein was in his early twenties when composing the first sonata, and it's a fairly substantial work. Only very experienced musicians can bring this off successfully. The second sonata is more ambitious in its content. The Brahmsian elements are there,  in abundance, and on the same level altogether. It's a rich and full hearted work of great gravitas. 
The recording is a warm one, with just enough air around the instruments to make it a very intimate listen.



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