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Takako Nishizaki, Slovak SPO, Michael Halasz - Anton Rubinstein: Violin Concerto; Don Quixote (1990)

Posted By: Designol
Takako Nishizaki, Slovak SPO, Michael Halasz - Anton Rubinstein: Violin Concerto; Don Quixote (1990)

Anton Rubinstein: Violin Concerto in G major, Op. 46; Don Quixote, Op. 87 (1990)
Takako Nishizaki, violin; Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Michael Halász, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 298 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 148 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Marco Polo | # 8.220359 | Time: 00:58:33

The G major Anton Rubinstein violin concerto is a fine and powerful work, quite as good as many a lesser-known Russian example in the same genre, and easily as deserving of wider currency as, say, the Taneyev Suite de Concert, which is just as rarely heard these days. Nishizaki gives a committed and polished reading, though you often feel that this is music written by a pianist who had marginally less facility when writing for the violin. Still, here’s a well-schooled performance, full of agreeable touches of imagination (the Andante shows Nishizaki’s fine-spun tone to particularly good effect) delivered with crisply economical urgency that makes good musical sense even of the work’s plainer and less idiomatic passages.

Review by Michael Jameson, Classics Today

If you have heard Stephen Wade do his monologue on Russian pianist Anton Rubinstein in the Old Vat Room, you have to regret that there was no way of recording the piano adequately during Rubinstein's lifetime (1829-1894). He was second only to Liszt among the pianists of his time – not meticulous about such things as wrong notes, but intent on making his instrument roar with intense passion and sing with the most sensuous tone. Lovers of formal perfection found much to criticize in his playing. But he gave great satisfaction to those who wanted music to take them by storm – a large group in the 19th century as, indeed, today.
"He plays like a god," wrote the formidable critic Eduard Hanslick, "and we are not offended if, like Jupiter, he sometimes changes into a bull." Wade's monologue (devised over a century ago by one George Bagby in memory of Rubinstein's epic American tour) is even more graphic: "he lifted himself bodily into the air, and he came down with his knees, fingers, toes, elbows and his nose, striking every single solitary key on the pianner{note:cq} at the same time."

As a composer, Rubinstein is widely known and beloved for one work that lasts only a minute or two: the Melody in F, familiar to elementary students on a variety of instruments and still favored by many violinists as an encore piece. But he was highly prolific, producing six symphonies, five piano concertos and several for other instruments, more than a dozen operas, oratorios and ballets, tone poems and a lot of solo piano compositions and chamber music. (In his spare time, he founded the Imperial Conservatory in St. Petersburg and served as its first director.)

His music was conservative in style and, though very popular with audiences during his lifetime, had trouble with critics. It dropped out of use not long after his death, presumably never to return. But a century or more after their composition, some of his works are beginning to find a new audience, perhaps as part of the renewed interest in romanticism. One of the most vigorous promoters of Rubinstein is the Marco Polo label, owned by Hong Kong Records and interested, as its name indicates, in exploring unfamiliar musical territory.

A few hours spent with Marco Polo's compact discs of Rubinstein's music will give one clue to why he had so much trouble with critics, and particularly with other Russian composers. He soounds like a German (listeners might think of Brahms or Mendelssohn), though there is an occasional faint foretaste of the kind of music that would be composed by Rubinstein's student, Tchaikovsky.

Russian music, when it began to seek its identity, tended to find its affinities in French orchestration and Oriental subjects. Rubinstein lived in an age of intense nationalism in Russian music, and his German training and tastes were not appreciated by the members of "The Mighty Five," who became the standard-bearers of that nationalism. In his own words, Rubinstein was "considered a Russian in Germany and a German in Russia." The fact that he was Jewish did not help. And such gentlemanly amateur composers as Borodin, Cui and Glinka tended to look down on his professionalism.
The two works that make the strongest impression on a first hearing are his "Ocean" Symphony (No. 2) and his Violin Concerto in G, Op. 46, both of which are performed for Marco Polo by the Slovak Philharmonic. The "Ocean" Symphony, which began with the standard four movements in 1851, grew to a seven-movement epic (evoking the "Seven Seas") by 1880. On Marco Polo compact disc 8.220449, American conductor Stephen Gunzenhauser leads a vivid, well-recorded performance of that final, seven-movement version. The music is expertly crafted and often colorfully descriptive; it might benefit from a bit of structural tightening here and there, but its appeal grows with repeated hearings.
The same is true of the Violin Concerto, which is conducted by Michael Halasz with Takako Nishizaki playing a brilliant solo. It is well-made music of no great originality but considerable charm, and it could find an affectionate audience if it became better-known. On the same disc (8.220359) is a "Humoresque" for orchestra, a comic tone poem titled "Don Quixote" that shows a fine knowledge of orchestration and a knack for musical description. It was eclipsed, of course, by the "Don Quixote" of Richard Strauss, one of the pinnacles of Romantic orchestral music, which was composed a few years after Rubinstein's death.

Review by Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post

Takako Nishizaki, Slovak SPO, Michael Halasz - Anton Rubinstein: Violin Concerto; Don Quixote (1990)



Takako Nishizaki, violin;
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra;
Michael Halász, conductor

Tracklist:

Violin Concerto in G Major, Op. 46
1. I. Moderato assai (13:14)
2. II. Andante (12:04)
3. III. Moderato assai (11:53)

4. Don Quixote (Humoresque for Orchestra), Op. 87 (21:01)


Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 29. September 2016, 0:02

Rubinstein, Anton / Violin Concerto in G Major, Op. 46 - Don Quixote (Humoresque), Op. 87

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4 | 37:31.00 | 21:02.00 | 168825 | 263474


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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2016-10-26 18:03:22

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Rubinstein, Anton / Violin Concerto in G Major, Op. 46 • Don Quixote (Humoresque), Op. 87 - Takako Nishizaki (violin), Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Michael Halász
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR17 -1.73 dB -23.26 dB 13:20 01-Violin Concerto - I. Moderato assai
DR15 -0.20 dB -24.78 dB 12:08 02-Violin Concerto - II. Andante
DR15 -1.14 dB -22.25 dB 12:03 03-Violin Concerto - III. Moderato assai
DR14 -0.66 dB -22.07 dB 21:02 04-Don Quixote
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 4
Official DR value: DR15

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 576 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Takako Nishizaki, Slovak SPO, Michael Halasz - Anton Rubinstein: Violin Concerto; Don Quixote (1990)

Takako Nishizaki, Slovak SPO, Michael Halasz - Anton Rubinstein: Violin Concerto; Don Quixote (1990)

All thanks to original releaser - quivive

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