S0724. ARTHUR GRUMIAUX, w. Szell Cond. Concertgebouw Orch.: Poème (Chausson), Live Performance, 28 Nov., 1957; w.Bour Cond.Bavarian Radio S.O.: Violin Concerto in D (Stravinsky), Live Performance, 1961, Munich; ARTHUR GRUMIAUX & ANTONIO JANIGRO, w. Monteux Cond. RAI S.O., Milano: Double Concerto in a (Brahms), Live Performance, 12 April, 1964 (Monteux's final performance). [Chausson's 'Poème' is the pièce de résistance - a ravishing performance!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-638. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"Of the Franco-Belgian school, Artur 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 Francois Prume prizes in 1939, and received the Prix de Virtuosi 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 debuts 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 debut, 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
“Italian-born conductor and cellist Antonio Janigro is best known to contemporary audiences for his many recordings with the chamber orchestra I Solisti di Zagreb, an ensemble he founded in 1954. Staples of the record-store Baroque section for many years, they helped build the enormous popularity that has since come to the music of Vivaldi and his contemporaries, and they still hold up well as widely available reissues. Janigro came to Baroque music fairly late in life, however. His recordings as a conductor capped a musical career touched by two world wars.
Janigro once described the atmosphere of his childhood as musical but tragic. He was born in 1918 in Milan to a pianist father whose career had ended when he lost an arm to a sharpshooter in World War I. Janigro started out on piano but switched to the cello at age eight, winning admission to the Verdi Conservatory a year later. At age 11 he performed for Pablo Casals, who recommended Janigro for admission to the prestigious École Normale de Musique in Paris. Studying there in the mid-1930s, he had Casals and Nadia Boulanger as teachers, Dinu Lipatti and Ginette Neveu as classmates, and Stravinsky as an eminence. His repertoire as a performer would range from early music to brand-new compositions. Practicing his cello on a train from Paris to Milan, Janigro was heard by a talent agent, and his career was launched.
After a promising start as a recitalist, Janigro took a vacation to Zagreb, Yugoslavia, just as World War II broke out. Essentially stranded, he began a new career as professor of cello at the Zagreb Conservatory. He continued to tour internationally and to teach cello after the war, with a stint at the conservatory in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 1965 to 1974. In Yugoslavia, however, he worked increasingly often as a conductor. At the behest of the government he formed the Zagreb Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, serving as its conductor from 1954 to 1964. Taking advantage of Yugoslavia's relative independence from the Soviet domination, he also conducted several top Western European orchestras, but his most extensive touring came with I Solisti di Zagreb. That group, although not affiliated with the historical performance practice movement, offered crisp readings of Baroque orchestral works that sharply diverged from the bloated symphony performances that were the norm at the time.”
- James Manheim, allmusic.com