Piano Quartet in C Major, Op.66
"Anton Rubinstein's Piano Quartet in C Major will be very welcome in amateur circles. And pianists, in particular, will not want to do without this wonderful work." ---the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbook for Piano Quartet Players,
Rubinstein dedicated his piano quartet to the famous Spanish singer Pauline Viardot-Garcia, whom he was introduced to by her lover the writer Ivan Turgenev. The work was premiered in 1864 with Rubinstein at the piano and Ferdinand David as first violinist. It was a huge success and was published two years later. Despite its considerably popularity up until the First World War, it was never reprinted. The big, spacious opening movement, Allegro moderato, has an attractive main theme which is developed in a highly original and interesting way. The second movement, Allegro vivace, is nothing less than a jolly Russian folk dance with several surprising twists and turns. A dark-hued Andante assai comes next. Here there dramatic climaxes in phrases Rubinstein alternately marks 'pathetico' and 'appassionato', and indeed, the music veers from the funereal to the passionate, full of pathos. The pleasing finale, Allegro non troppo, is at times pastoral in mood and at others lively and full of vigor.
Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894) was one of those rare concert virtuosi whose contribution to music went far beyond performing. In 1862, he founded the St. Petersburg Conservatory and served as its first director. His efforts in developing Russian musical talent were perhaps the greatest of any single individual. Not only did he introduce European educational methods but he also established standards that were as rigorous as any conservatory in Europe. Rubinstein was a prolific composer writing in nearly every genre. Chamber music figures prominently amongst his works. He wrote 10 string quartets, 5 piano trios, a string quintet and a string sextet as well as several instrumental sonatas and this piano quintet.
We have reprinted the first and only edition but have added rehearsal letters and corrected a few mistakes.Long out of print, we are pleased make it available once again.