B1633. LIONEL TERTIS. My Viola And I – A Complete Autobiography; with ‘Beauty of Tone in String Playing’ and Other Essays by Lionel Tertis. Boston, Crescendo Publishing, 1974. 184pp. Index; Discography; Photos; Illus.; DJ. Autobiography of Lionel Tertis [1876-1975], Polish-Jewish-British violist and one of the first viola players to find international fame. Book also contains practical advice for string players. - 0-87597-098-2 9780875970981
“I heard Tertis for the first time in recital in 1934 when he would have been fifty-eight years old and just about at the peak of his career. For me, a young violinist struggling to master the instrument, this event was amazing, something unbelievable. Here was a small man playing on a large viola and producing the most lovely sound that I had ever heard from a stringed instrument. He had everything: beautiful sound, consistent intonation, fine technique and a lovely way of phrasing a melody. He was the complete musician and artist. During the course of that recital, my future plans as a string player were turned upside down, and I had to become a violist and study with the man who so enthralled me.
Tertis played on a large instrument with a back length of 17 1/6 inches which was attributed to Montagnana and from which he produced a beautiful sound. He also had a technique in both hands that was equal to anything written for the instrument; in fact, I always felt he had a hidden reserve supply that was rarely used. When listening to him either at a lesson or in concert, the overall impression was one of fine sound and interpretation. The undoubted technique he possessed was simply there to enable him to achieve these objectives.”
- Harry Danks, THE INTERNATIONAL VIOLA SOCIETY
"Tertis’ playing often reminds me more of Casals, his exact contemporary. There is the same boldness of execution, the warm emotional tone, and large interpretive gestures. Moreover, Tertis inclined more to the cello than the violin register on the viola and took the cello part in arrangements of chamber music. Like Casals, Tertis made his way as a soloist on what had not been hitherto regarded as a solo instrument."
- David Radcliffe, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, March/April, 2007
"Lionel Tertis was a legend in his own lifetime – he stood shoulder to shoulder with Ysa˙e, Kreisler, Casals, Cortot, Rubinstein and a galaxy of stars in the first four decades of the 20th century. He was the first great virtuoso of the viola and arguably the best, and [his] recordings bear testament to one of Britain’s finest musicians."
- John White, CLASSIC RECORD COLLECTOR, Spring, 2006