Critic Harold Schonberg wrote of Rubinstein (1887-1982): "He retained the best elements of Romanticism, but he discarded its excesses. Thus while his playing sang in a Romantic manner, intellectually he was very much of this century. He knew how to respond to the form of a piece, how to make phrase succeed phrase in a logical manner, how to build to the one inevitable climax. He was a big pianist but also a very subtle one. No detail was too small to play an integral part in a total conception. He also was the most unneurotic pianist of his time. Not for him the tortured complexities of some pianists, or the soul-searching innigkeit of others, or the egoism of still others. Rubinstein played every piece in a natural, healthy, extroverted manner, with sweep and a big line, with color and fire. As he played, everything sounded natural and logical." These qualities are evident in the splendid-sounding public performance making its debut on this disc.
Josef Hofmann (1876-1957), described by critic Dominic Gill as "a daunting legend" was a star in an earlier generation of Romantic artists (his teacher was Anton Rubinstein); few of his recordings are regarded as representative of his art, so we are fortunate to have this concert appearance in which the pianist is in top form. Previously released from an inferior aircheck, it is presented here from a superior source, in the best possible sound.
CD-1114(1) KEYBOARD GIANTS PLAY BEETHOVEN — NEWLY DISCOVERED BROADCAST TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM WWII: Beethoven: Piano Concerto Nr. 3 in c, Op. 37.
Arthur Rubinstein, Philharmonic-Symphony, cond. Eugene Ormandy (1943) & Beethoven: Piano Concerto Nr. 4 in G, Op. 58. Josef Hofmann, Philharmonic-Symphony, cond, Dimitri Mitropoulos (1943). ADD.
Total time: 66 minutes. UPC# 0-17685-11142-6