When asked about the outstanding violinists of the twentieth century, the pupils of the Russian school are widely mentioned.
On the other hand, the representatives of the formerly dominant Franco-Belgian school failed to “climb to the summit of fame”.
The “elegance, refinement and charm of the French style”, writes Boris Schwarz, once first violinist in the NBC Symphony Orchestra directed by Arturo Toscanini in his interpretation story “Great Masters of the Violin”, has been replaced by “the piercing swing , the brilliance and sensuality “of Russian virtuosos.
Arthur Grumiaux, who was born in Belgium a hundred years ago and, due to the passage of time, could only begin his career after the Second World War, did not find his place on the Olympus of the Stars, but in a room with the word on the door: "For connoisseurs only". It was a connoisseur of the highest order who preferred Grumiaux to all other violinists: "I loved everything he did because it was always interesting, full of warmth and truth." The laudator came from the Russian school: Nathan Milstein.
Another connoisseur of the highest rank spoke of the “most beautiful tone that has ever been played on the violin” without fear of exaggeration: the English conductor Colin Davis, who with the London Symphony Orchestra and Grumiaux, at the beginning of the stereo era, Wolfgang Amadé's violin concertos Mozart (KV 207, 211, 216, 218, 219). A few years earlier, Grumiaux had already recorded the cycle with the Wiener Symphoniker under Bernhard Paumgartner. At a time when the banner of “historically informed performance practice” is being waved, these Mozart recordings left by Grumiaux acquire the allure of classical elegance. The moving emotional effect of his noble expressiveness speaks from the deeply felt praise of the composer Francis Poulenc: “For a few seconds I experienced the great, very rare happiness,To shed tears of joy. "
These Mozart recordings are now part of an extensive commemorative edition for Grumiaux, which is releasing his recordings for the Philips company at Decca (Universal Music). Those familiar with Mozart's violin concertos in detail may have been surprised at the statement that Grumiaux made with the cadenza in the G major concerto K. 216. He did not choose the widely used cadenza by Joseph Joachim, which was written about a hundred years later, but that of the founding father of the Franco-Belgian school: Eugène Ysaÿe, with whose pupil Alfred Dubois he studied.
Arthur Grumiaux, born on March 21, 1921 in Villers-Perwin, Belgium, graduated from the Charleroi Conservatory with a double degree: for violin and piano. Recordings of Mozart's Sonata in E flat major KV 481 and Johannes Brahms' Sonata in A major Opus 100 are evidence of this dual talent. The violin and piano parts were superimposed in the studio.