Antonio Janigro

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ANTONIO JANIGRO plays Beethoven, Bach, Brahms and Debussy

1-3. BEETHOVEN: Cello Sonata No. 5 in D Major, Op.102, No. 2 [19:25]
Recorded · 16 October 1958 · Frankfurt · Raum 3/D · Hessischer Rundfunk · Radio Studio Recording
Antonio Janigro · cello
Günter Ludwig · piano

4. BACH: III. Andante, Solo Sonata in A minor, BWV 1003 (arr. Janigro) [04:19]
5. BEETHOVEN: 7 Variations on a Magic Flute theme in E-flat Major, WoO 46 [09:25]
6-8. BRAHMS: Cello Sonata No.1 in E minor, Op.38 [22:25]
9-11. DEBUSSY: Cello Sonata in D minor, L.135 [11:04]

Recorded · 28 February 1962 · Paris · Studio 107 · Le Livre d’Or · Radiodiffusion Française · Radio Studio Recording
Antonio Janigro · cello
Antonio Beltrami · piano

Additional Information

Article number: MC 3008
Release date: 02 May 2014
UPC barcode: 0791154050507
Total time: 66:41

Producer and Audio Restoration: Lynn Ludwig
Booklet Notes: Michael Waiblinger
Design: Alessia Issara
Photographs: Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
With special thanks to Ulrich Karla
From the Original Masters · © 2014 Meloclassic

Antonio Janigro was born on January 21, 1918 in Milan. His father, Nicola, a concert piano player, had to give up his career due to a serious injury to his left arm sustained at the front during the First World War. His first instrument as a child was that of his father, starting at the age of six, and then he began playing the cello in 1926, when he was eight years old. He was given a cello at that time by Giovanni Berti, who also gave him his first lessons. He fell in love with the cello immediately. In less than a year he had progressed enough to be admitted to the Verdi Conservatory in Milan, where he studied cello with Gilberto Crepax. When he was eleven years old, through the efforts of his mother Maria Cavo, he found the opportunity to play for Pablo Casals in Milan (1929).

The result was that Casals gave him a recommendation to Diran Alexanian (1881-1954) in Paris, who was teaching Casal’s classes at the Ecole Normale from 1921 to 1937. Casals wrote: “A brilliant instrumentalist with a fine sense of style, and, I hope, sufficiently determined, he should become a shining exponent of our chosen instrument.” Janigro waited until 1934, when he was sixteen years old, and then moved to study at the École Normale in Paris. Once there, he was co-assigned to Alexanian and Casals. Alexanian also taught chamber music, where Janigro came into contact with fellow students such as Dinu Lipatti Lola Bobesco and Ginette Neveu. He graduated from the school in 1937 after playing the Schumann Concerto, and then pursued an active career as a cellist.

He gave his first performances in the newly established Trio with Dinu Lipatti and Lola Bobesco and they started a series of concerts during Janigro’s stay in Paris.He often traveled back and forth between Milan and Paris on the railway, and would search for an empty compartment in which to practice his cello. Once while practicing on the train, the door to his compartment opened, and a music agent appeared, and later organized concerts for the gifted young cellist in France.

Janigro’s father died shortly before his departure from Paris. He and his mother, Maria, were tossed around and about for some time until they finally reached their destination in Croatia in 1939. A cello teacher died suddenly and Janigro became a professor of cello and chamber music at the Academy of Music in Zagreb. After World War II broke out, he toured in the Netherlands in February 1940, but stayed in Zagreb and conducted the Zagreb Radio and Television Chamber Orchestra and founded the Zagreb Soloists Ensemble.


After the war he resumed his international career as a soloist, and traveled extensively in South America and the Far East. Janigro wrote from Buenos Aires to Diran Alexanian: “Je suis, depuis deux semaines, en tournée en Amérique you Sud. Avant mon départ, j’ai enregistré le Dvorak à Vienne, sous l’excellente direction de Dean Dixon. Je n’ai passé à Vienne que les quelques jours indispensables pour l’enregistrement et le travail a été assez dur. Le disque devrait paraître ou mois d’octobre, ce qu’on m’a dit. Après Vienne, en avion, tout de suite: Brésil, Argentine, Urugay et Dieu sait où encore…. Si vous me le permettez, Je vous tiendrai un peu au courant de mon activité, en vous envoyant, de temps en temps, quelques program, critiques, etc.. Ce sera pour moi une joie.”

He also began to develop a career as a conductor, having made his debut in this role in 1948. At the invitation of Radio Zagreb he had become the chief conductor of its symphony orchestra in 1954, and from the core of the Zagreb Radio Symphony Orchestra he formed the chamber orchestra I Solisti di Zagreb. In 1952 he recorded Boccherini’s Cello Sonata in A Major for Radio Geneva with Suzanne Gyr. In 1953 he married Neda Cihlar, daughter of a Croatian literary master. On October 17, 1953 he gave a recital in Ludwigsburg with German pianist Hans Priegnitz. He performed as a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic in Schumann’s Cello Concerto under Sergiu Celibidache (1953) and Boccherini’s Cello Concerto in B Major under Carl Schuricht (1956).

He also conducted the Berlin Philharmonic in a few concerts, Dvorák’s Cello Concerto with cellist Zara Nelsova (1961), Mozart’s Piano Concertos KV 467 and KV 365 with pianists Robert and Gaby Casadesus 1965), and Mozart’s Piano Concerto KV 595 with pianist Walter Klien (1968). He performed the Dvořák Cello Concerto in Cologne under Erich Kleiber in 1955, who regarded Janigro as an exceptionally gifted musician, was delighted at his “incomparable playing” of the Dvořák.

He also appeared as an excellent partner in the trio with Jean Fournier and Paul Badura-Skoda and in duo recitals with Edith Farnadi, Aldo Ciccolini, Jörg Demus and Carlo Zecchi. In 1959, he was Fritz Reiner’s soloist, in a renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra recording of Strauss’s Don Quixote. In 1960, he had a terrible ski accident and had to cancel his forthcoming appearances for several months.

After the move to Milano in 1965, he became conductor of the Angelicum Orchestra, and teaching started to become more prominent in his daily activities, holding posts at the Düsseldorf Robert Schumann Conservatory from 1965 to 1974, at the Salzburg Mozarteum from 1971, and at the Stuttgart Conservatory from 1975. From 1968 to 1971 he was conductor of the Saarland Radio Chamber Orchestra in Saarbrücken, and from 1971 to 1974 he directed the Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata.

Janigro died on May 1, 1989 in Zagreb.

© Michael Waiblinger 2014

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