Piano Quintet in g minor, Op.99
Writing in his Handbook for Piano Quintet Players, Wilhelm Altmann states: ďAnton Rubinsteinís Op.99 Piano Quintet shows great depth of thought and masterful development.Ē
The Quintet dates from 1876 and is one of Rubinsteinís last chamber works. The opening movement, Lento-Allegro moderato, has a short recitativ introduction before the thematic material, dramatic and quite lyrical takes off. The second movement, Moderato, a unusual intermezzo, can be characterized as a dialogue between the piano on the one hand and the massed strings on the other. The third movement, also marked Moderato, is a set of variations based on a warm, sensitive theme. The spirited finale, despite Rubinsteinís Moderato marking, is full of energy and forward motion.
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.
The Quintet was quite popular up until WWI, after which so many fine works from the romantic era were no longer in vogue. Long out of print, we are pleased make it available once again.