Anton Rubinstein’s Powerful Quartets
How Anton Rubinstein in the end succeeded in creating a comprehensive oeuvre covering all the genres while making breathtaking concert and traveling rounds as a pianist is something that numbers among the incomprehensibilities of his life marked by a tireless work ethos. During the course of his busy life on the go he composed more than a dozen operas, six symphonies, an oratorio, a ballet, some two hundred songs, countless works for piano solo and for piano in the concerto style and with orchestral accompaniment, and chamber music for various formations with and without piano. He also composed ten string quartets, two of which are now being released on cpo. Rubinstein composed these works during his time in Leipzig, and the Reinhold Quartet, whose members are musicians of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, offer powerful interpretations of them. The two Quartets Nos. 1 and 3 in minor keys from op. 47 are on the one hand subtly linked together motivically and on the other hand most highly different in design. Especially striking triplet motifs livening up in the secondary segments, refined motivic transformations, and fortissimo outbursts of absolutely orchestral might – these are all typical characteristics of Rubinstein’s quartet style. And what might possibly top the impressive conclusion of the first quartet? The gigantic, virtuosic, and harmonically and formally bolder conclusion of the third quartet, that’s what!