James Friskin: Quintet in C minor; Phantasie for String Quartet; Elegy for Viola and Piano; Phantasy – The Rasumovsky Quartet, Catherine Dubois (piano)
Born in Glasgow on 3 of March 1886, James Friskin showed early musical talent as a pianist and composer, winning a piano scholarship to the Royal College of Music at the age of only fourteen. Five years of piano study with Edward Dannreuther followed; then, in 1905, he was awarded a scholarship to study composition with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, the outstanding composition professor of the day. In 1914 he emigrated to the USA. Based in New York, he taught at the Institute of Musical Arts. Later he was an original faculty member of the Juilliard Graduate School, where he taught until his death in 1967.
Friendships over many years preceded the formation of The Rasumovsky Quartet in 1984. Shared membership of such ensembles as the Music Group of London, Julian Bream Consort, and Zorian and Amici quartets has given the Quartet an unusual depth of experience. Audiences in Britain and abroad have warmed to the variety of programmes, mature interpretation, and enthusiasm which characterise the Quartet’s music making. The Quartet derives its name from Count Rasumovsky, the Imperial Russian ambassador in Vienna for thirty years – now remembered primarily as the dedicatee of Beethoven’s superb set of String Quartets, Op. 59.
"... The Rasumovsky String Quartet, alone and in partnership with Catherine Dubois, offers us truly revelatory performances of heretofore unknown repertoire that deserves a place in the annals of British music. I enjoyed this disc immensely!"
Michael Carter - Fanfare - November/December 2012
Repertoire ***** Sound **** Interpretation ****
Burkhard Schäfer - Ensemble magazine - August/September 2012
"...Performances have a purity of tone that is absolutely remarkable and the sympathetic playing serves Friskin’s vigorous writing with wholehearted involvement. This is off-the-beaten track stuff that satisfies and delights. Notes and sound are excellent."
Gerald Fenech - ClassicalNet - 14 June 2012