Post by Joe
I'll stick my neck out on this: Artur Rubenstein was good.
He was better than "that good;" he was without doubt the greatest musical performer I have ever seen. Anyone fortunate enough to have attended a Rubinstein recital, and I attended about ten, can attest to the fact that they left the auditorium having been transformed by the experience. His charisma was mysterious and irresistable. No matter how determined you were to defend against it, after a few minutes, it had you. The gap between you and the stage was suddenly eliminated. You were in symbiosis with Rubinstein, to the extent that, when the piece ended, you feared your heart could not continue to beat on its own. And when the last encore was over......and when he acknowledged the cheers and stamping and tears for the final time......and left the stage, you were bereft; you questioned whether it really made sense to go on living without that sound in your ears and that melos vitalizing your heart. The records, most of them, anyway, are wonderful, especially since they have been remastered to convey something close to Rubinstein's phenomenal dynamic range (his soft playing stopped the heart), but none duplicates the experience of being in the same room while that man was playing the piano.