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From Paris to PeoriaHow European Piano Virtuosos Brought Classical Music to the American Heartland$
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R. Allen Lott

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148831

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148831.001.0001

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Rubinstein's “Magnificent Faultiness”

Rubinstein's “Magnificent Faultiness”

(p.197) CHAPTER 12 Rubinstein's “Magnificent Faultiness”
From Paris to Peoria

R. Allen Lott

Oxford University Press

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

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