FREE ARTIST: The Story of the Rubinsteins by Catherine Drinker Bowen

FREE ARTIST: The Story of the Rubinsteins

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Anton Rubinstein, composer and pianist, and his brother Nicholas, a lesser light in the musical firmament, were important figures in the revitalizing of Russia's musical history, but as individuals, their lives lack the glamor that made Beloved Friend a best seller. As a person, Anton was elemental, volcanic, intensely masculine; he had a gift for melody, but his compositions were inferior to his brilliance as a concert pianist A background of lowly Russian-Jewish parentage did not interfere with the recognition of his genius in early childhood, and at twelve he made his first European tour and reached success. Brief glimpses of the musical celebrities of his day; a period when he was held back by poverty and family responsibility; the meeting with the sister-in-law of the Czar who became his patron and who was instrumental in making possible the establishment of the Russian Conservatory of Music; a continued acceptance by the public throughout the musical world -- such was his path to fame and fortune. Brief space is given to his ideas of music, to his contribution to Russia's new school of music, to his brother's foundation of a similar conservatory in Moscow, and to his personal life. A book of interest to those who like musical biographies, but not a book of as wide general appeal as the other.

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 1939
Publisher: Random House