Maxim Rubtsov: Album Review

This new CD by Russian flutist Maxim Rubtsov, Principal Flute of the Russian National Orchestra, is a unique and beautiful collection of short romantic works by Russian composers. These are melodic, lyrical pieces often written for voice that Rubtsov has arranged for flute. The songs are mostly from the 19th century; many are   preserved in the Russian Imperial Collection of the US Library of Congress and are examples of the Russian romance genre, which were sold internationally in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  And Rubstov, in recording these songs,  has dedicated himself to restoring a part of the Russian cultural heritage, some from a collection, “Songs of Moscow Gypsies,” and others additionally from the Library of Congress collection.

In general, you will know these composers: Rachmaninoff, Glazunov, Arensky, Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Gliere, Tchaikovsky, Arensky as well as a few that are less familiar (Griboyedov, Gretchaninoff, Alyabiev, and Gorshkov).  They are beautiful pieces and gorgeously played by Maxim with intensity, love, and his amazing sound and technique. Although most of the songs are slower and expressive, a number of them are virtuosic including Rachmaninoff’s “Italian Polka," Gliere’s “Waltz” from the ballet “The Bronze Horseman," and an astonishingly brilliant and fast “Flight of the Bumblebee!" (which I’ve taken to playing for students to inspire them to play faster).  And humorously, Lyadov’s “Dance of the Mosquito” and “The Musical Snuffbox” – the titles say it all and Rubtsov plays them with great fun on piccolo!

Rubtsov shows his great musical range and insight in this joyous, beautiful, intense, and romantic album, and he is accompanied with equal love, virtuosity, and delight by pianist Sergei Kvitko.

-Barbara Siesel

You can find the album here:

 Russian Romance-  Maxim Rubtsov, flute, Sergei Kvitko Piano

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