Artur Rubinstein in 1906. Courtesy: Library of Congress.

Artur Rubinstein in 1906. Courtesy: Library of Congress.

 

I was first exposed to classical music in my grandfather’s sunroom. He kept his record player there, and often the first thing I would see upon entering his house was the silhouette of his hands held aloft over his bald head, conducting along with a recording of one of his favorite pieces – usually a schmaltzy Romantic concerto or symphony. Here is a playlist consisting of some of the recordings (most made in the 1940s and 50s) I remember listening to while sitting on the floor next to him.

Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto, played by Arthur Rubinstein
(https://open.spotify.com/album/6z9My8k6BzQdNvb86TVMpV)

Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, played by Vladimir Horowitz
(https://open.spotify.com/album/4maTZw13C8MLdFLxjE1ksV)

Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony ( “Pathétique”), conducted by Fritz Reiner
(https://open.spotify.com/album/2jcO7mGsEg4acLaMuMEoee)

Sergei Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, both played by Arthur Rubinstein
(https://open.spotify.com/album/2EfoL1Bcwu9JpiYc7tDtNp)

Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, played by David Oistrakh
(https://open.spotify.com/album/7BDvJtuXaaRngqE4kauEUZ)

Antonin Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony (“From the New World), conducted by Fritz Reiner
(https://open.spotify.com/album/3yrVhBkB1aH4lwmRIeiKj2)

Matthew Silverstein is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at New York University.

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