C1210. OTTO ACKERMANN Cond. Kölner Radio S.O., w.Arthur Grumiaux & William Primrose: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat, K.364 (Mozart), recorded 1955; Ackermann Cond. Zürich Tonhalle Orch., w.Dinu Lipatti: Concerto #1 in e (Chopin), recorded 7 Feb., 1950. (Germany) Archipel 0418. Final copies. - 4035122404180
“Born in Bucharest, in 1909, Otto Ackermann was an important operatic conductor in the German tradition. His first professional position was at the Düsseldorf Opera House, where he was appointed Kappelmeister in 1927, after completing his musical studies at the Royal Academy of Bucharest and the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. In 1932, he became Chief Kapellmeister at the German Theater of Brno, Czechoslovakia, remaining there until 1935. That year, he moved to Switzerland in 1935, where he was chief Kapellmeister of the Berne Municipal Theater from 1935 to 1947.
World War II prevented the development of an international career, which waited until the years beginning in 1949, when he primarily worked in the Zürich Opera, where he was principal conductor from 1949 to 1953. He became director of the Cologne Opera House in 1955 and returned to Zürich in 1958.
During the 1950s, he began to appear more frequently as guest conductor and was especially valued as a conductor of the leading operettas and of Mozart's operas. He most frequently guest conducted at the Vienna State Opera. Ackermann, who died in 1960, left a number of valued recordings, including a Léhar and Johann Strauss, operettas, and several orchestral song recordings with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com
“Of the Franco-Belgian school, Arthur Grumiaux is considered to have been one of the few truly great violin virtuosi of the twentieth century. In his relatively short life his achievements were superb. He brought to performances guaranteed technical command, faithfulness to the composer's intent, and sensitivity toward the intricate delineations of musical structure. His fame was built upon extraordinary violin concerto performances and chamber-music appearances with his own Grumiaux Trio
He trained on violin and piano with the Fernand Quintet at the Charleroi Conservatory, where he took first prize at the age of 11. The following year he advanced his studies by working with Alfred Dubois at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, and also worked on counterpoint and fugue with Jean Absil. He received his first few major awards prior to reaching the age of 20; he took the Henri Vieuxtemps and François Prume prizes in 1939, and received the Prix de Virtuosité from the Belgian government in 1940. During this time he also studied composition privately in Paris with the famous Romanian violinist Georges Enescu, Menuhin's teacher. His débuts were made in Belgium with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra playing the Mendelssohn Concerto, and in Britain with the BBC Symphonic Orchestra in 1945. Due to the German invasion of his homeland, there existed a short time gap between these two important events. During that time he played privately with several small ensembles, while refraining from public performance of any kind. Regardless of this slight delay in the initiation of his international career, once started, it quickly developed. Following his British début, he advanced into Belgium academia when he was appointed professor of violin at the Royal Conservatory, where he had once studied. There, he emphasized the importance of phrasing, the quality of sound, and the high technical standards of artistry.
One of his greatest joys in life was his partnership with the pianist Clara Haskil. On occasion, the two would switch instruments for a different perspective and relationship. Grumiaux was left with a professional and personal absence when she died from a fall at a train station, en route to a concert with him. In addition to his solo work, he has recorded Mozart quintets with the Grumiaux Ensemble, and various selections with the Grumiaux Trio, comprised of the Hungarian husband-wife duo Georges Janzer (violin) and Eva Czako (cello). His successful performance career led up to royal recognition in 1973 when he was knighted baron by King Baudouin for his services to music, thus sharing the title with Paganini. Despite a struggle with diabetes, he continued a rigorous schedule of recording and concert performances, primarily in Western Europe, until a sudden stroke in Brussels took his life in 1986. At the age of 65, Grumiaux left behind the memory of his elegant and solid musicianship.”
- Meredith Gailey, allmusic.com
"William Primrose was to the viola what Heifetz was to the violin….Think of Tertis as a Rolls Royce and Primrose as a Ferrari. This nimbleness of left and right hand made him Jascha Heifetz’s favorite alto-clef partner in chamber music and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante."
- Joseph Magil, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, May/June, 2006