Saturday, November 20, 2010
Mendelssohn Thriller for the Day
Here's the highly-eventful second movement:
Check out the gardener listening through the open door at 2:40. Piatigorsky sees him at 3:10, and in the next shot, at 3:16, the piano has been turned around 90 degrees, and placed in front of a window. They obviously tried to camouflage the problem by splicing in different shots of people listening (you'll see them at 4:26), and by 4:48 the piano has once again flipped around, the door has been opened, and our original gardener is back in place.
For the last phrase, the door has been closed, the piano has been flipped into its in-front-of-the-window position, and day has turned into early evening. Rubenstein offers everyone a drink (it must be at his house). Piatigorsky accepts, Heifetz declines, and everybody takes a break.
Realistically they must have recorded the piece several times--once in front of the open door (with the gardener), and at least once in front of the closed window, and they probably preferred the takes with the gardener.
They must have recorded the Scherzo first, since you can see bright daylight through the open door (when the open door takes are being used). But why watch the door or the background when you can watch these magnificent bow arms?
(Don't bother to look for the first movement. It's a real disappointment.)