DAVID RUBINSTEIN divides his time between composing and piano playing, and has received numerous composing awards, including the Ojai Festival and the Renee Fisher Piano Competition . Recent compositions include Cappuccino Concertino and Sonatina for Woodwinds, featured on the Bakersfield Symphony New Directions Concerts. He has scored, orchestrated and conducted a number of films, including Marching out of Time and The Opera Club as well as theatrical productions such as Guare’s Landscape of the Body.
As pianist, David Rubinstein performs the classic repertoire as well as his own music, and his programs are noted for including undeservedly neglected works such as the Busoni Elegies. He made his American debut at the age of nineteen at the National Gallery of Art in an acclaimed performance of Bach''s Goldberg Variations, and his U.K. debut at London''s Wigmore Hall. He has appeared in recitals and orchestras throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the 2007 Whittier College Bach Festival, the San Diego Convention Center, the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, Merkin Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall, Lincoln Center, the Warsaw Chopin Society, Dutch Radio, the Long Island Beethoven Festival and the Chautauqua Festival. He is listed on the Musicians Roster of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. His reputation for playing contemporary music and sightreading ability have established him as one of the most sought-after pianists in major Hollywood film studios such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Studios and Universal. Additional career highlights include the acclaimed world premiere recording of Sibelius piano works, originally issued by Musical Heritage Society and currently re-issued on Musicus Recordings.
LINER NOTES (by the composer):
Curious Assortment was composed between 1998 and 2001. The pieces in this collection are a kind of program music representing the peculiarity of the subconscious world rather than the real world. They may be performed individually.
What does a volley of ping pong sound like on the piano? The results of my research are heard in The Ping Pong Prelude. After the imitative opening measures, the game continues in a dreamlike state, while still making use of the initial musical motifs. Sorry, Wrong Cabaret is an imaginary dance number with multiple short themes, none of them predominating. The vaudevillean effect is purposely disjointed, and a person entering this cabaret realizes that he has arrived at the wrong place and time. Short Piece with Tango Inside begins with short, conversational motifs against an ostinato accompaniment. A tango inexplicably appears on the scene and promptly departs as the opening ostinato reappears. It is up to the listener to decide the raison d’etre of this tango. Sleepwalking in Los Angeles was sketched out on an extremely hot summer day, the heat being so unbearable that it felt more like sleepwalking than being awake. Little else could be done on that day other than sketch out the strange opening melody and improvise some possibilities for the conclusion.
Chopsticks Variations (2001) According to The Book of World-Famous Music, the composition currently known as "Chopsticks" was deposited in 1877 at the British Museum under the title The Celebrated Chop Waltz by Arthur de Lulli, which was the pseudonym of Euphemia Allen, the 16 year-old sister of the publisher Mozart Allen. Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov and Liszt wrote variations on the theme. I felt intrigued by the notion of setting a theme that is perhaps considered overly simplistic. The theme is never directly quoted.
Filmic Preludes (1986-92) Three pieces drawn from nearly a hundred short synthesizer compositions. Since the originals were multitrack compositions, a reverse orchestration was done in order to make them suitable as piano pieces.
Piano Music for Two Fingers (1998) is played by only two fingers, specifically, both thumbs, both index fingers, and so on for each of the five pieces. It is intended be fun as well as technically challenging.
Jazz Concert Miniatures (1998) are essentially five miniature preludes composed as concert pieces, lasting not much more than three minutes in total .
Variations on a Familiar Theme (“Sakura”),1991. This earlier composition featuring the Japanese “Sakura” theme combines late romantic piano writing with minimalism. The theme is initially given only in fragments, and appears in full only at the end.
Piano Sonata (“Jovial Rhythms”), composed in 1996, is a crossover between new-age minimalism and the classical sonatas of the Haydn-Mozart era, minus the typical slow middle movement. The first movement, a sonata-allegro with a syncopated first theme, is followed by a toccata featuring a polyrhythm of six eighths in the right hand against four eighths in the left hand. -D.R.
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