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Quote

... or Horowitz, for that matter, who could reach an 11th and still refused to play this etude (10/1) in public.

I believe the reason Rubinstein never recorded the Etudes is that he would only record them as a set, and he was not happy with his handling of 10/4. I believe he did play 10/4 publicly as an encore piece in a concert tour he did in his 80’s to show he had mastered it finally.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I believe the reason Rubinstein never recorded the Etudes is that he would only record them as a set, and he was not happy with his handling of 10/4. I believe he did play 10/4 publicly as an encore piece in a concert tour he did in his 80’s to show he had mastered it finally.

Not sure where you heard that from, but as far as I know, he had been performing some of the Etudes publicly on a regular basis, especially the Op. 10 No. 4:


He also plays some excerpts here (Op. 10 No. 1 from 21:10, and Op. 10 No. 2 from 22:20):


I sure would've liked to have listened to him playing the entire two sets.

Last edited by PianoYos; 07/02/19 12:14 AM.
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The part about programming 10/4 in his 80’s may be incorrect, but I do believe that he chose not to record the Etudes because he would only do so as a set and he was not satisfied with his rendering of all of them for the purposes of a recording. My understanding was that 10/4 was the one he did not want to immortalize in a recording.


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Interesting...

I would've thought it might've been some of the other Etudes he never performed in public which he felt were obstacles, but you could be right. I know he was supposed to record the full sets of Etudes in Rome at some point but it never materialized. I wish he spoke more about his music in his autobiographies, charming as his anecdotes were.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
My understanding was that 10/4 was the one he did not want to immortalize in a recording.
I think it would be strange if he played 10/4 quite frequently in public(and I've seen quite a few Youtube performances) yet that was one of the etudes where he felt his performance was inadequate.

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Originally Posted by PianoYos
I wish [Rubinstein] spoke more about his music in his autobiographies, charming as his anecdotes were.

I quite agree with you there. With a generous surfeit of champagne and sex, one longs for a few 'meatballs' of musical insight, or did he just make music on autopilot?

Sweelinck's post about R's reluctance re the Etudes accords with what I have read also. The 'problem' was, and still is: which etude was it? I've also read/heard that it could have been 10/1!

What is really interesting here is that when you read interviews or commentary by famous pianists, it is always culprits in the Op 10 which come up for mention as particularity challenging moments. IIRC, you don't hear much about that with the Op 25, it works so well as a cycle, perhaps the difficulties are easier in context.


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Hand size is a very significant factor when ranking the relative difficulty of them for a particular pianist.


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Rubinstein did record the Three Nouvelles Etudes.


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What is really interesting here is that when you read interviews or commentary by famous pianists, it is always culprits in the Op 10 which come up for mention as particularity challenging moments. IIRC, you don't hear much about that with the Op 25, it works so well as a cycle, perhaps the difficulties are easier in context.

I think that likely is true, though I also think that 25/11 likely is on par with the some of the more difficult ones from Op. 10. Having played the F#m Polonaise in the past, with its requisite octave work, the octave etude 25/10 feels to me to be more of a test of stamina and conservation of energy than something that requires virtuosic technique like 25/11 would.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Rubinstein did record the Three Nouvelles Etudes.

He certainly did - and he played them beautifully.

https://youtu.be/8KtY5dvF2_A


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I.. I thought this post was a joke when I read the description of no.1 and 2. I thought you'd say they're all easy. But then I saw "difficult" and I realize it's not a joke, it's just you have no idea what you're talking about.


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-Schubert - Impromptu in F minor Op.142 No.4
-Rachmaninoff - Prelude in C# minor Op.3 No.2
-Beethoven - Piano Sonata in C minor Op.13 "Pathetique"
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Originally Posted by zerox029
I.. I thought this post was a joke when I read the description of no.1 and 2.

That sure is what it looks like, and it should be.

It's amazing how far off someone can be in seeing something, even when he knows a fair amount about the subject (as our guy clearly does) -- if he doesn't know quite enough about it, and that's not unusual. It can happen to us all. But it did seem surprising to be that far off on a thing like this.

The part that made me jump out of my seat the most was Op. 10 #2,.

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The moment I saw Op. 10 no. 1 described as "easy", I tuned out.

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How many posts does it take to say there were errors in the OP? I would bet it SHOULD be s smaller number than eight.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
How many posts does it take to say there were errors in the OP? I would bet it SHOULD be s smaller number than eight.

How many posts does it take to say Steinway is better than C. Bechstein or vice versa?

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Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
Originally Posted by dogperson
How many posts does it take to say there were errors in the OP? I would bet it SHOULD be s smaller number than eight.

How many posts does it take to say Steinway is better than C. Bechstein or vice versa?


Saying Steinway is better than XX eight times is less personal than telling someone they’re wrong eight times. Both are unnecessary, aren’t they

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
Originally Posted by dogperson
How many posts does it take to say there were errors in the OP? I would bet it SHOULD be s smaller number than eight.

How many posts does it take to say Steinway is better than C. Bechstein or vice versa?


Saying Steinway is better than XX eight times is less personal than telling someone they’re wrong eight times. Both are unnecessary, aren’t they

I would say so, but then reading such a thread isn't necessary either, is it?

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Originally Posted by dogperson
How many posts does it take to say there were errors in the OP?

We're answering one another. We're talking together.

That is part of what discussion sites are for, isn't it... smile

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Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
The moment I saw Op. 10 no. 1 described as "easy", I tuned out.

Me too.

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Oh, but it IS easy...in concept. Let's not talk about execution. ha

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