Rudolf Serkin emerged from the environment of post-World War I Austria to become one of the most profound and challenging pianists of the century. (…) Rudolf Serkin's discography is impressive, spanning most of the general repertory from Bach to the early/mid-twentieth century, and including such relative novelties as the F minor Concerto of Max Reger, a composer Serkin had an abiding affinity for. His work at the Curtis Institute, and, during the summers, at the Marlboro Festival, has made him one of the most influential American teachers of the post-World War II era.
Rudolf Serkin's 1964 recording of Beethoven's Piano Concerto in C minor is surely among the greatest recordings of the work ever made, and certainly his finest performance of the work. The energy and enthusiasm and even passion he brings to Concerto in C minor is overwhelming, and indeed, it overwhelms Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, who accompany Serkin with the sort of commitment that only a conductor and orchestra give to soloists when they are deeply inspired. But while Serkin's 1962 recording of Beethoven's Piano Concerto in E flat major is also surely among the greatest recordings of the work ever made, it is not quite Serkin's finest recording of the work.
Andras Schiff and Peter Serkin, internationally celebrated and multi-award winning classical soloists, make their New Series debuts with Music for Two Pianos. Regarded as 2 of the greatest pianists of our time, Schiff and Serkin are very seldom heard - as they are here - as piano duo. With this recording, ECM begins a long-term relationship with Andras Schiff, a musician described by Gramophone magazine as "a unique poetic voice among the pianists".
This concert was performed at the Musicvereinsalle in Vienna and was broadcast throughout Austria and most of Western Europe. Rudi was 85 years old at this time. He died three years later and is buried in Vermont. No one has ever played Beethoven with such passion and beauty in the 20th Century..
… boldly carved, formidable in articulation, bright in tone, inspired in sensibility… [Serkin's] profundity makes him a paragon among pianists of the mid-20th century.(The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians)
Historical recording, over 5 decades old, but still "in the mood"
From the notes: Charisma is an overworked term, but there are times when no other will do. Rudolf
Serkin had it in abundance. He had no striking physical feature that would at once single him out. […..] He had only an aura - of power, yes, but not the power of a politician or a great impresario; rather, it was a power of incorruptibility formed by an iron discipline, which one felt instinctively.
Music Festival created by Rudolf Serkin
The Marlboro Festival: Since its founding in 1951, Marlboro has transformed the world of chamber music and played a pivotal role in developing generations of new musical leaders. Marlboro was created by eminent pianist Rudolf Serkin - its Artistic Director until his death in 1991 - and co-founders Adolf Busch, Herman Busch and Marcel, Blanche and Luis Moyse….