S0821. HENRYK SZERYNG, w. CHARLES REINER (Pf.): Vitali, Ponce, Guarnieri, Ravel, Suk, Sarasate & Brahms (incl. the latter's Violin Sonata #3 in d), with encores introduced by Szeryng in French, Italian, Spanish & English. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1236, Live Performance, Radio-Canada, undated. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"Henryk Szeryng, one of the more elegant representatives of a now fading school of Romantic violin playing, was known for the purity of his playing - exact intonation, well-organized phrasing and a broad, sweet, vibrato-filled tone that nevertheless did not sound oppressive. In the Romantic tradition Mr. Szeryng applied his long, lyrical style to Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi as well as to Brahms and Tchaikovsky. The various schools of interpretation, in other words, were filtered through the single 19th-century Central European tradition that was his heritage. Among his teachers were Carl Flesch in Berlin and Jacques Thibaud and Nadia Boulanger in Paris.
Mr. Szeryng began his concert career in 1933 and spent World War II as liaison officer to the exiled Polish Premier. His musical life continued its close contact with politics and diplomacy when the Mexican Government invited him in 1943 to teach at the National University in Mexico City. He became a Mexican citizen and later traveled on a diplomatic passport as the country's Culture and Good Will Ambassador. After 10 relatively quiet years of teaching and occasional concerts, Mr. Szeryng met Arthur Rubinstein after a recital in Mexico City. With the help of his fellow pianist and Polish compatriot, Mr. Szerying developed an international career that was still flourishing at his death. While retaining his home and teaching responsibilities in Mexico City, he also kept apartments in Paris and Monte Carlo.
Mr. Szeryng also became a busy recording artist, with a discography of about 250 works. Mr. Szeryng's tastes ran to the standard literature. He was especially fond of Paganini, yet 20th-century composers like Carlos Chavez, Benjamin Lees and Michael Ponce wrote music for him. Mr. Szeryng also liked to play music by the contemporary Polish composer Karol Szymanowski. He exercised his diplomatic responsibilities in part by championing the music of Mexican composers, and he expressed his belief in the humanistic powers of music as an adviser to Unesco. He was also said to donate large portions of his income to charities. From Mr. Szeryng's collection of violins, 12 have been given away since 1975 - one, a Stradivarius presented to the city of Jerusalem, another a gift to the young violinist Shlomo Mintz. Mr. Szeryng retained for himself the 1743 Guarnerius named 'Le Duc'."
- Bernard Holland, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 4 March, 1988
“In violin recitals of yore, a pianist could usually be described somewhere in the background, plunking unobtrusively away, foot on the soft pedal, while the fiddler dominated the program like a Nero in tails. That school of violin playing is not so prevalent today, and it was the newer style that held the stage yesterday afternoon at Hunter College Assembly Hall, where Henryk Szeryng and Charles Reiner played a program that was a model of shared responsibility and shared glory.”
- Donal Henahan, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 6 Dec., 1971
“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