Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Artur Rubinstein
"Schumann: Carnaval op. 9" (Vinyl)

This relatively early work from Schumann's output was considered by Chopin to be "less than music" while Clara and Robert Schumann themselves thought this music too difficult for public audiences.  Let's all ponder why Schumann wrote it the way he did then.

The piece is intended to depict Robert and his friends at a masquerade ball at a carnival.  Each musical motive represents a different person and is encoded into each movement of the work.  I'm not sure if Robert intended his friends to care enough to examine the work closely enough to find out if they are talking to the cocktail waitress or partying on the dance floor, but the 22 short movements take up 1.5 sides of this RCA shaded dog.

Rubinstein is undoubtedly one of the most recorded pianists in history.  The number of recordings you can find of his are astonishing.  Partially due to his proficiency and partially due to the quality of the RCA recordings I snatch them up when I find them in good condition.  I'll never regret their purchase.

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