Regarded by many as the greatest interpreter of composer Frederic Chopin’s work, world-renowned pianist Artur Rubinstein entertained audiences with his profound keyboard skills for an impressive eight decades, visiting Australia on a number of occasions.
Following a hugely successful Australian concert tour in July 1964, the then 75-year-old pianist made his only TV appearance in Australia for the BP Super Show which first aired in Sydney on 1 August 1964.
Ever the perfectionist, Rubinstein arrived at the GTV-9 studio in Melbourne on a late July afternoon for rehearsal at 3.30 p.m. Taking only a brief break for dinner he returned to begin taping for the show in a session that would last until midnight. Dissatisfied with his playing in the first take, Rubinstein insisted on retaping the whole show, and a further third taping of his last item, de Falla’s ‘Ritual Fire Dance’.
The full Rubinstein program includes:
‘Grande Polonaise in A-Flat, Opus 53’ (Chopin), ‘Le Plus Que Lente’ (Debussy), ‘Prelude in A-Minor’ (Debussy), ‘Nocturn for the Left Hand’ (Alexandre Scriabin), ‘Punchinello’ (Villa-Lobos), and ‘Ritual Fire Dance’ (de Falla).
“Music from the hand of a master, Artur Rubinstein…” [The Australian Women’s Weekly, 5 August 1964, pg. 19.]
“The World’s Greatest Living Pianist.” [The Bulletin, 30 May 1964, pg. 4.]
Rubinstein rarely appeared on TV, this recording was his fourth ever appearance on a TV program.
Total Running Time: 27.21 minutes
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