Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/205

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�RUBINSTEIN.

he appeared at the Philharmonic on May 18,

tying his own Concerto in G. He came back

the following year, played again at the Phil- ink: on June 7, and at the Musical Union ii. In 1869 he came a fourth time, and layed at the Musical Union only (May 18, June ). In 1876 he made his fifth visit, played at

ie Philharmonic May I, and gave four Recitals in St. James's Hall. In 1877 he had again re- citals, and also conducted his ' Ocean ' Symphony (6 movements), and played Beethoven's Concerto in G, at the Crystal Palace on June 4. In 1881 he has given another series of Recitals at St. James's Hall, his opera 'The Demon' was brought out in Italian at Covent Garden on June 21, and his ' Tower of Babel,' with other music, aj the Crystal Palace on June n.

Of his Symphonies four have been heard here, the last (op. 107) at the Crystal Palace, May 1 88 1. The third Symphony, in A, has not yet been played in England. Of his PF. Concertos four out of five have been heard, that in G three times ; the first alone has not yet been played. Of his Overtures that in Bb (op. 60), that in C (op. 43), and that to ' Dimitri Donskoi ' have all been played at the Crystal Palace, as well as the Ballet music of 'Feramors' and 'The Demon,'

id ' Don Quixote.' Of his chamber-music the .vourite pieces at the Monday Popular Con- certs are, Cello Sonata in D (6 times), three pieces for PF. and cello (op. II, 4 times), Bb Trio (4 times), and PF. Quintet (op. 99, twice).

NICHOLAS, his younger brother, who settled in Moscow, was also a fine pianist and no mean

mposer, though overshadowed by the fame of is great brother. He studied under Kullak and Dehn in Berlin during 1845 and 6. In 1859 ^ e founded at Moscow the Russian Musical Society, which gives twenty concerts each year ; and in 1864 the Conservatoire, and was head of both till his death. In 1861 he visited England, and played twice at the Musical Union (June 4, 18). In 1878 he gave four orchestral concerts of Russian music in the Trocade"ro at Paris with great success. He died of consumption in Paris, Mar. 23, 1 88 1, on his way to Nice for his health, widely and deeply lamented. His latest published work is op. 1 7 ' Scene du Bal, Polonaise.'

RUBINSTEIN, JOSEPH no relation to the foregoing has acquired some fame as a pianist and composer of drawing-room music. He has also obtained an unenviable notoriety through

tain newspaper articles in the 'Bayreuther ,tter ' signed with his name (though believed >y some to have emanated from a more famous .), and attacking Schumann and Brahms in a offensive and vindictive manner. [F.C.]

RUCKERS, clavecin makers of Antwerp, who were working as masters between 15/9 and 1667 or later, the first of whom, Hans Ruckers, is always credited with great improvements in keyboard instruments. It is certain that the tone of the Ruckers clavecins has never been surpassed for purity and beauty of tone-colour (timbre) ; and from this quality they remained in use in England, as well as in France and the VOL. III. FT. 2.

��RUCKERS.

��193

��Netherlands, until harpsichords and spinets were superseded, at the end of last century, by the pianoforte. The art of harpsichord making, as exemplified in London by Kirkman and Shudi, was directly derived from Antwerp and the Ruckers. Time seemed to have no effect with the Ruckers instruments. They were decorated with costly paintings in this country and France, when a hundred years old and more. New keys and new jacks replaced the old ones ; so long as the soundboard stood lasted the silvery sweet* tone. It has done so in some instances until now, but modern conditions of life seem to be inimical to the old wood ; it will be difficult, if not impossible, to preserve any of these old in- struments much longer. As a work of piety we have catalogued all that we have seen or can hear of, appending the list to this notice.

In John Broadwood's books, 1772-3, are several entries concerning the hiring of Ruker, Rooker, and Rouker harpsichords to his cus- tomers ; to the Duchess of Richmond, Lady Pembroke, Lady Catherine Murray, etc., etc. In 1 790 Lord Camden bought a ' double Ruker' : in 1792 Mr. Williams bought another, the price charged for each being 25 guineas. These entries corroborate the statement of James Broad wood ('Some Notes,' 1838, printed privately 1862) that many Ruckers harpsichords were extant and in excellent condition fifty years before he wrote. He specially refers to one that was twenty years before in possession of Mr. Preston, the pub- lisher, reputed to have been Queen Elizabeth's, and sold when Nonsuch Palace was demolished. To have been hers Hans Ruckers the elder must be credited with having made it.

If the tone caused, as we have said, the long preservation of the Ruckers clavecins, on the other hand the paintings which adorned them not unfrequently caused their destruction. A case in point is the instrument of the Parisian organist, Balbastre, whom Burney visited when on his famous tour. Burney says it was painted inside and out with as much delicacy as the finest coach or snuffbox he had ever seen. In- side the cover was the story of Rameau's ' Castor and Pollux,' the composer, whom Burney had seen some years before, being depicted lyre in hand and very like. He describes the tone as delicate rather than powerful (he would be ac- customed in London to the sonorous pompous Kirkmans, which he so much admired), and the touch, in accordance with the French practice of quilling, as very light. This instrument was then more than a hundred years old, perhaps more than a hundred and fifty. We learn the fate of it from Rimbault ('The Pianoforte,' 1860, p. 76), who tells us that it became the property of Mr. Goding of London, who sacrificed Ruckers' work, to display the paintings by Boucher and Le Prince that had adorned it, on a new grand piano made for the purpose by Zeitter. This maker showed respect for his predecessor by pre- serving the soundboard, which he converted into a music box, the inscription ' Joannes Ruckers me fecit Antverpise' being transferred to the

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