C1111. ARTUR RODZINSKI Cond. NYPO.: Toy Symphony (Leopold Mozart), recorded 8 Feb., 1945; Nocturne for Orchestra (Jerzy Fitelberg), recorded 28 March, 1946 - World Premiere); w.Angel Reyes: Violin Concerto in e (Mendelssohn), recorded 23 March, 1946. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-137, (from a rare existing copies from Rodzinski collection). Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"Angel Reyes, originally from Cuba, was the son of Angel Reyes Camejo, conductor of the Thirteenth Sound Group of Havana, music director of the Cuban Military Police Band and composer of Cuban traditional instrumental and vocal works. Angel Reyes was a Premier Prix graduate from the Paris Conservatory at age sixteen and was a prize-winner of the Ysaye International Violin Competition in Brussels. As a concert soloist, he had appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Latin America. At one time he owned the famous Lipinski Stradivarius violin, on which he played Glazunov's Violin Concerto in November 1942 with the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Massimo Freccia, as well as with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy. He also owned a violin by Carlo Bergonzi, known as the 'Kreisler Bergonzi', previously owned by Fritz Kreisler and later by Itzak Perlman."
"Son of Grzegorz Fitelberg, Jerzy was born in Warsaw. He first studied music with his father. At a young age, his father had him play percussion in the orchestra of the National Theatre, Warsaw to gain experience. He subsequently studied in Moscow. From 1922-26 he studied composition with Walter Gmeindl and Franz Schreker at the Berlin University of the Arts."
"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