A tribute fashioned for the centennial of the birth of the great pianist Artur Rubinstein, hosted by his actor son John, this endeavour showcases the gusto of the artist while permitting the viewer to appreciate his vast technical power, with a large emphasis being placed upon Rubinstein's love for his native Poland, in particular Lodz, his birthplace. Interviews with Rubinstein and with members of his family comprise a large portion of this work, and these combined with home movies and too seldom shown concert footage allow us to understand how this keyboard master approaches his art, as well as historical background of his ardor for Chopin, of whom he is the preeminent latter day interpreter. Rubinstein's well-deserved reputation as a raconteur is highlighted, with examples, while his wife Eva and his children draw our attention to his rarely flagging delight in living, maintained even under the circumstances of nearly total blindness which ended his performing career years before his death in 1982, at age 95. Director/producer Peter Rosen emphasizes the obligation that Rubinstein felt to communicate with his audiences, no matter how small or private, and we are gratified at seeing and hearing the virtuoso perform portions of Chopin's second concerto, with both the Warsaw and Lodz Philharmonic Orchestras, in addition to solo performances of such as Falla, Schumann and Poulenc. Easily the best moments of the film are comprised of archival footage of Rubinstein in performance, taken from L'AMOUR DE LA VIE-ARTUR RUBINSTEIN, a 1969 work devised by the outstanding French director and cinematographer Francois Reichenbach, including segments from six of the pianist's favourite Chopin pieces, the Mazurkas; somewhat ironically, to experience the Gallic auteur's camera and lighting skills as we watch Rubinstein play these jewels causes the film at hand, with its many family-related digressions, to be somewhat pallid in feeling.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this