S0089. ARTHUR GRUMIAUX & CLARA HASKIL: Violin Sonata #32 in B-flat, K.454; Violin Sonata #21 in E, K.304 (both Mozart); Violin Sonata #3 in E-flat, Op.12, #3; 'The Cockcrow' Violin Sonata #10 in G, Op.96 (both Beethoven). Music & Arts 860, Live Performance, 1957, Besançon Festival. Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 017685086021
"Arthur Grumiaux was the greatest recent representative of the Belgian School of violin playing. In 1950 Dinu Lipatti suggested to Grumiaux that they join forces to record the violin-piano Sonatas of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. Lipatti died before the project could be realized. But then Grumiaux met Haskil at Prades, and their decade-long immortal partnership began. The two artists worked together, joined by a mysterious instinctive bond, as if they had known each other for years. Grumiaux, who valued Haskil's friendship highly, wrote of their first recording session after her death: 'At our first session we rehearsed for less than an hour and were then ready to record. In our approach to the work we had a complete unity of views and feelings'. This is only one of two live concert recordings known to have survived of this fabled partnership."
- Music & Arts
"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
"Haskil's return visit [to Boston] surpassed all expectations. A series of concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Charles Münch and an appearance at Carnegie Hall created a sensation and were reported in TIME magazine. Rudolf Eli wrote in the Boston Herald, ‘One of those most magical revelations that occurs in music once in a generation ... the most beautiful performance of Beethoven’s Third Concerto I have ever heard or expect to hear again’.
I first heard Clara Haskil’s name mentioned by Dinu Lipatti after a recital he gave in Switzerland. When I congratulated him on his Mozart playing, Lipatti said, ‘In two weeks’ time you must hear Clara play Mozart. Then you will realize how far the rest of us are from the truth’. I was young at the time, but the name stuck in my mind. Who was this mysterious Clara?
As Clara sat down the music materialized as if from nowhere. Her arm seemed to glide over the keyboard without preparation, just as a flat stone skims across the water. This was so typical of her playing; nothing seemed to start or end, and everything became timeless. Admiration and international fame came late in life for Clara Haskil, in a career beset by poor health and the adversities of a worlperfection on earth’, Wilhelm Backhaus called it ‘the d war. Dinu Lipatti described her playing as ‘the sum of most beautiful in the world’, Tatyana Nikoleyeva burst into tears when she first heard Haskil...."
- Peter Feuchtwanger