Rubinstein's “Magnificent Faultiness”

R. Allen Lott

in From Paris to Peoria

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195148831
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199869695 | DOI:
Rubinstein's “Magnificent Faultiness”

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Although Anton Rubinstein's performances were generally praised, there were occasional comments that he had technical flaws and memory lapses, partly attributable to his greater commitment to composing than performing. His tempestuousness as a performer caused him to lose physical control, but it was his passion that helped his performances transcend their technical inadequacies. Although at first critics thought Rubinstein's performances were faithful to the composer's intent, as the season wore on they were more likely to take exception to his highly individualistic and mannered performances. His own works for piano were conservative and often neoclassical. Rubinstein's concerts reflect the sacralization of music, which was no longer just entertainment but art that needed to be carefully studied and listened to respectfully. Performers demanded reverence in the concert hall and fulfilled the function of priests who interpreted to the laity the ineffable mysteries of the great works of art.

Keywords: Anton Rubinstein; sacralization; neoclassical; technical flaws; memory lapses; composing; performin

Chapter.  6895 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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