JAMES FRISKIN (1886-1967): Piano Quintet in C Minor, Phantasie for String Quartet, Elegy for Viola and Piano, Phantasy for Piano Quintet.
Catalogue Number: 08O057
Reference: NI 6182
Description: Born in Scotland, resident in the U.S. from 1914, Friskin was a fine pianist who also taught at the Juillard School (before it was so named) and, in his youth in Britain, where he studied under Stanford at the RCM, a promising composer - as we can see here. Everything on this disc was composed between 1907 and 1912 and has more or less of the same stylistic mix that was in the air in that period which you’ll find in similar youthful works by Bax, Butterworth, Bowen, Vaughan Williams, etc. The 1912 Elegy may be a cri de cœur of his unrequited love for the beautiful violist (and composer) Rebecca Clarke; and it shows that patience counts: she had moved to the U.S. in 1916, he married her in 1944 and they lived happily until his death. All collectors of the English musical renaissance of the turn of the 20th century will want to have this well-filled (77 min.), well-annotated release. Rasumovsky Quartet, Catherine Dubois (piano).