Magic Moments of Music - Farewell to Chopin
07 NOV 2021: In 1975, music history is made in London: the legendary pianist Arthur Rubinstein brings Chopin's Second Piano Concerto to life a final time.
Arthur Rubinstein © Archivo de la Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía / Reina Sofía School of Music Archive
Arthur Rubinstein and family 1948 © Privatarchiv Alina Rubinstein
In April of 1975, the legendary pianist Arthur Rubinstein, who is gradually going blind, wants to leave a legacy to the world. Chopin's Second Piano Concerto has accompanied him throughout his life. At London’s Fairfield Hall, Rubinstein brings it to life a final time in his warm-hearted, lyrical style.
Rubinstein dominated the world stage for three quarters of a century and lived life to the fullest as a connoisseur, globetrotter and notorious womanizer. Although he claimed to practice as little as possible, he would go on to become one of the most important pianists of the 20th century and described himself as “the happiest man I ever met in my life”.
In Farewell to Chopin, Daniel Barenboim confesses that at the age of just 14, he smoked his first cigar and drank his first vodka together with Rubinstein. His constant companion Annabelle Weidenfeld recalls his incredible charm, and youngest daughter Alina Rubinstein remembers the charismatic but often absent father whom she “wouldn’t trade for anyone in the world”.
No audience is present for this legendary concert recording – the performance is exclusively for the cameras. Together with the London Symphony Orchestra under conductor André Previn, Rubinstein is every bit the lustrous piano icon: upright and elegant in his tailcoat, he is enthroned at his instrument. The maestro's playing is generous, luminous, rhapsodic. At almost 90 years of age, this exceptional musician and interpreter of Chopin is as captivating as ever.
Duration 43 minutes
Production year 2021
Production Company ZDF/ARTE, sounding images
Distribution TV C Major Entertainment GmbH
Director Anne-Kathrin Peitz
Editor Christopher Janssen
Producer Claus Wischmann
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