S0812. PIERRE FOURNIER & CHARLES REINER: Adagio and Allegro in A-flat, Op. 70 (Schumann); Cello Sonata #3 in A, Op.69 (Beethoven); Variations on a Rococo Theme (Tschaikowsky); Cello Sonata in d; Beau Soir (both Debussy). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1232, Live Performance, 19 Oct., 1981, McGill University, Montréal. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Pierre Léon Marie Fournier was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire where his teachers there were Paul Bazelaire and Anton Hekking; he graduated in 1924 at the age of 17. Fournier made his début the year after his graduation. This was a solo appearance with the Concerts Colonne Orchestra, which received favorable notices. The almost invariable comment in reviews was the perfection of his bowing technique. He began a successful career as a touring concert artist and as a performer in chamber music concerts, gaining a great reputation in Europe. In 1937 to 1939, he was the director of cello studies at the École Normal . It was often said that he became a friendly rival with his contemporary, cellist Paul Tortelier. He prescribed the Sevcik violin bowing studies for his cello students.
In 1941, he became a member of the faculty at the Paris Conservatoire, but during the war years his concert touring career was impossible. Once the war was over, though, he was able to resume and he rapidly increased in fame and international stature. His old audience found that he had grown in artistic depth. Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti, meeting Fournier in rehearsals for a 1947 Edinburgh Festival appearance, had not heard him for over ten years and wrote that he was ‘tremendously impressed by the Apollonian beauty and poise that his playing had acquired in the intervening years’. Szigeti, Fournier, violist William Primrose, and pianist Artur Schnabel formed a piano quartet in those years and gave some fabled concerts at which they played virtually all of Schubert's and Brahms' piano chamber music.
Fournier made his first U.S. tour in 1948. His chamber music partner Artur Schnabel spread the word among cellists, other musicians, and critics that they were to be visited by a great new cellist. The New York and Boston critics were ecstatic. He had to give up his Conservatoire post because of his expanding concert career; he appeared in Moscow for the first time in 1959. Commentator Lev Grinberg wrote that he was notable for a romantic interpretation, clarity of form, vivid phrasing and clean, broad bowing - all ‘aimed at revealing the content’.
He had a broad repertoire, including Bach, Boccherini, the Romantics, Debussy, Hindemith, and Prokofiev. Composers Martinu, Martinon, Martin, Roussel, and Poulenc all wrote works for him. He had a standing Friday night date to privately play chamber music with Alfred Cortot, at which they might be visited by musicians like Jacques Thibaud. In 1953, he became a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and was promoted to officer in 1963. In 1972, he retired to Switzerland and gave master classes. He still gave concerts, even as late as 1984 when he was 78.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com
“At a young age, Charles Reiner was soloist with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra. After his release from a concentration camp in Austria, Reiner attended the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, and in 1947 received a concert diploma. His teachers were Arpad Hanak, Arnold Szekely, and Bela Böszörmenyi-Nagy. He won the 1948 International Competition for Musical Performers in Geneva and in 1949 was awarded first prize for virtuosity by the Geneva Conservatory, where he had studied with Dinu Lipatti and Louis Hiltbrandt. After performing in various European centres, he won first prize (1950) in a United-Nations-sponsored competition of the International Refugees Organization.
Reiner moved to Montréal in 1951 and that year made his solo recital debut 27 Nov. at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, followed by around 40 concerts for Jeunesses Musicales of Canada. In an impressive career as accompanist he has performed with Henryk Szeryng, Igor Oistrakh, Ruggiero Ricci, Hyman Bress, Antonio Janigro, Arthur LeBlanc, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Richard Verreau, Maureen Forrester, and others. A favourite accompanist of Szeryng over the years, Reiner recorded with him many times, toured South Africa and elsewhere, and played at Carnegie Hall.
Reiner also gave solo recitals in North America, Europe, and South Africa, and appeared innumerable times on radio and TV. He was a founding member of the Canadian Piano Quartet, and of Musica Camerata Montréal in 1971. In 1985 he was invited by the Shanghai Conservatory to teach the complete Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for violin and piano, which he performed with 14 Chinese violinists in five recitals.”
- THE CANADIAN ENCYCOPEDIA