C1245. ARTUR RODZINSKI Cond. RAI S.O., Roma, w.Tommaso Frascati (T): Harnasi (Szymanowski), Live Performance, 31 Dec., 1955; Rodzinski Cond. San Pietro Orchestra, Napoli: Symphony #40 in g, K.550 (Mozart), Live Performance, April, 1958. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-179, (from Rodzinski collection). Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"In terms of subject matter Szymanowski's magnificent choral ballet HARNASIE is sort of the Polish equivalent of Stravinsky's LES NOCES, although the idiom is squarely Szymanowski's own brand of luxurious late Romanticism - here spiked liberally with the punchy rhythms, earthy sonority, and ageless tunefulness of folk music. It's a work that deserves to be enormously popular. Probably the need for tenor solo plus chorus in a work lasting a scant 35 minutes counts against it. Think, if you will, of DAPHNIS ET CHLOE meets CARMINA BURANA, and you'll have a good sense of the music's unique combination of sensuousness and vital energy."
- David Hurwitz, classicstoday.com
"Although Rodzinski conducted most of the Country's major orchestras, his tenure often ended in a huff. In 1947 he had quit the coveted job of boss of the New York Philharmonic because, he said, he felt hemmed in and hampered by the Philharmonic's businesslike manager.
Rodzinski was known as a great builder of orchestras. Time and again he took over run-down orchestras and in a few years, by cajolery, psychology and almost ruthless dedication, built them into the finest of artistic groups."
- LOS ANGELES TIMES, 28 Nov., 1958
“Artur Rodzinski, a conductor of incandescent talent and an equally brilliant gift for self-destruction, cut a scandalous path through American music a generation ago. A long with Toscanini and Stokowski, the bushyhaired Polish musician summed up in the public's eyes all that a real maestro was supposed to be: preening, arbitrary, dictatorial, unpredictable, driven by ambition. Rodzinski was all these, as his widow Halina freely documents in her fascinating memoirs. And more: Rodzinski during significant portions of his career was mentally ill, dependent on drugs and in thrall to all sorts of spiritual fads and fancies. That a man as disturbed as Rodzinski could operate, often dazzlingly well, during his relatively untroubled moments is perhaps a tribute to the stability of the domestic life he had built around himself. Mrs. Rodzinski, in the way wives of great men once were expected to act, put her life entirely at the disposal of her master.
Both Rodzinski and his wife came from a culture and a time (Poland before World War II) when such an arrangement was accepted as normal. 'I come before everything and everyone else', Rodzinski told Halina before their wedding, and he left her in no doubt of it by thereupon spending his wedding night without her, on the town. His wife, with less outward resentment than one would expect, depicts herself as hardly more than a servant. She sharpened his pencils, changed his shirts and brushed his hair at intermissions. Oh, yes, and it was her duty, too, to lay out the loaded revolver along with the maestro's tails before a concert. This bizarre story, which has long been talked about in disbelief In the orchestra world, can now be certified as true. Rodzinski carried the weapon - loaded - in a hip pocket whenever he faced an orchestra, even during rehearsals. Learning of this later, many a player who had displeased Rodzinski at one time or another must have experienced a slight frisson.”
- Donal Henahan, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 23 May, 1976
"Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent [feature] St Laurent's natural transfer - made without filtering, like all his dubbings - it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise."
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011