GRIGORY FRID (1915-2012): Complete Music for Viola and Piano - Sonatas No. 1, Op. 62 and No. 2, Op. 78, 6 Pieces, Op. 68, ALEXANDER VUSTIN (b.1943): In Memoriam Grigory Frid for Viola and Piano.
Catalogue Number: 02R036
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0330
Description: Frid was something of a polymath, and his range of artistic endeavor is reflected in his breadth of musical expression; always approachable but varying considerably in idiom. The substantial second sonata is related to Frid's stage music on the Phaedra myth, and the work follows a dramatic arc that reflects the story. The piece has elements of polystylism; the first and last movements are Shostakovich-like laments, but the third, which carries much of the narrative weight, is more varied and dissonant, with hints of jazz, while the courtly second borrows an idea from Stravinsky's Pulcinella and expands on it - Frid was a lifelong admirer of Stravinsky, and his influence may be felt elsewhere as well. The Pieces are little 'sketches' related to Frid's Van Gogh opera, and explore a similar range of styles to the Sonata. The first sonata, by turns tragic and vehement, is strongly influenced by Shostakovich (who in turn spoke warmly of it, and other works by Frid). The work by Frid's former student Vustin is an extended elegy in two movements, with modernist, but also tonal and folksong-like elements. Elena Artamonova (viola), Christopher Guild (piano).