Grigori Frid: Clarinet Sonatas – John Finucane, Elisaveta Blumina – MDG Multi-channel SACD 

by | Aug 14, 2018 | Classical CD Reviews

Russian sonatas by Grigori Frid in stunning surround sound

Grigori Frid: Clarinet Sonatas – John Finucane (clarinet), Elisaveta Blumina (piano) (6/8/18)  MDG Multi-channel SACD Catalogue No: MDG9032069 TT: 57:16 ****:

Gregori Frid is not a well known name in classical composing, but he was a unique voice and I’m thrilled to see more of his works appearing on disc.

Frid, who died in 2012 was a Russian composer of music written in many different genres, including chamber opera. Frid was a prolific composer. His most notable works are his two chamber operas, both to his own libretti. The Diary of Anne Frank is a monodrama in 21 scenes for soprano and chamber orchestra.

Portrait of Grigory Frid

Portrait of Grigory Frid, by @Meladina

He wrote three symphonies (1939, 1955, 1964), a series of instrumental concertos including a Concerto for viola, piano and string orchestra (1981), as well as film scores.

For this disc, we get 3 Clarinet Sonatas, numbers 1-3. John Finucane performs on the clarinet, while Elisaveta Blumina is the pianist

Frid was alive during the musical reign of such greats as Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff,  and some of the other Russian greats, but Frid’s sound is unique and yet has a distinctive Russian sound. I found all three sonatas a good listen.

All the works on the disc are well performed, and the recording is the usual lovely sound we get from MDG. The sound is natural, yet dynamic, The 5.1 disc has a subtle surround ambiance, which fits the music very well.

I applaud MDG for supporting these lesser known but well regarded composers, bringing their unique genius to wider audience,

Highly recommended.

—Mel Martin

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