WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Erick Friedman: The Complete RCA Album Collection


Release Date: 06/02/2017 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 88985395042  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachLudwig van BeethovenMario Castelnuovo-TedescoErnest Chausson,   ... 
Performer:  Jascha HeifetzErick FriedmanBruce Prince-JosephBrooks Smith,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Malcolm SargentSeiji OzawaWalter HendlErich Leinsdorf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra of LondonLondon Symphony OrchestraChicago Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 9 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale!
CD:  $27.49
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

Erick Friedman (1939-2004) came to prominence as a Jascha Heifetz protégé when he recorded the Bach Double Concerto with his mentor. RCA subsequently signed Friedman to a contract, positioning him for a career. However, several incidents thwarted Friedman’s early momentum, including his unsuccessful bid at the 1966 Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition, after which RCA dropped him from the label. A serious auto accident sidelined Friedman for several years, but he fought back and resumed his activities. Friedman never regained his youthful stardom, but he remained a highly respected soloist, chamber player, conductor, and teacher for decades up until his death from lung cancer. Sony/BMG’s complete edition of Friedman’s RCA releases Read more attests to the young violinist’s formidable powers.

Friedman’s solo debut release generated critical excitement, as borne out by his blazing, ultra-secure, and charismatically stylish Paganini D major concerto (sound clip), coupled with an equally commanding Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccio. His follow-up album of encore-type fare lacks nothing in virtuosity, yet an earnest, hard-edged patina informs much of Friedman’s work, such as in the Tchaikovsky Sérénade mélancholique’s overphrasings, or in the overly driven Flight of the Bumblebee. By contrast, two unaccompanied Paganini Caprices (Nos. 17 and 21) abound with colorful élan, and the Castelnuevo-Tedesco Sea Murmurs mirrors Heifetz’s point and charm.

Friedman’s strengths come into full focus throughout an album devoted to short violin and orchestra showpieces by Sarasate, Wieniawski, Saint-Saëns, Chausson, and Ravel, abetted by alert accompaniments that belie Malcolm Sargent’s latter-day reputation as a mere time beater. Friedman’s Prokofiev First Concerto was one of the work’s top stereo versions in the 1960s. Today the tempos seem slightly square and sedate, notwithstanding a vividly detailed orchestral framework via Erich Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony. It was coupled with the composer’s Fifth Piano Concerto in a spiky, terse reading featuring soloist Lorin Hollander, whose other concerto recordings with Leinsdorf and the BSO also deserve reissue.

It’s good to reconnect with Friedman’s warm, direct, and organically singing Bach sonatas, even if Bruce Prince-Joseph’s harpsichord support is less prominent in the mix than it should be. In the Chaconne from the D minor Partita Friedman takes a brisk basic tempo, where his insightful melodic pointing is interspersed with stiffly dispatched dotted rhythms. Friedman and pianist André Previn’s extroverted, highly rhetorical conceptions of the Franck and Debussy sonatas are not the most subtle around, and tend to sidestep these works’ classical dimensions and intimate, conversational moments; to hear Friedman shine in sonata repertoire, seek out his live Brahms, Strauss, and Beethoven recital with Nadia Reisenberg on the Romeo label.

However, Friedman’s Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn concertos with Seiji Ozawa and the London Symphony Orchestra remain points of reference. Friedman is on splendid, secure, and communicative form, while the LSO players shine by way of Ozawa’s rhythmic incisiveness and astute ear for balances. Like Heifetz, Friedman retouches the Tchaikovsky’s text here and there (the cadenza, for example), and observes the traditional Leopold Auer cuts in the finale.

I close with a personal note: Friedman was the first famous classical musician I ever met. His mother lived around the corner from us in West Orange, New Jersey, where I was raised. I walked by the Friedman residence on my way to grammar school and back. Sometimes I’d hear violin playing coming from the house, and I’d stand in front, absolutely transfixed. One day I worked up enough courage to knock on the door. Mr. Friedman answered it himself, dressed in a long bathrobe, violin in hand. He couldn’t have been nicer to a budding music student whose family collected his records. Overall, a worthwhile reissue, and not just for rekindling happy childhood memories.

– ClassicsToday (Jed Distler) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin), Erick Friedman (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra of London
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
2.
Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 1 in B minor, BWV 1014 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Bruce Prince-Joseph (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
3.
Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 2 in A major, BWV 1015 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Bruce Prince-Joseph (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
4.
Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 3 in E major, BWV 1016 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Bruce Prince-Joseph (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
5.
Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 4 in C minor, BWV 1017 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Bruce Prince-Joseph (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
6.
Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 5 in F minor, BWV 1018 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Bruce Prince-Joseph (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
7.
Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 6 in G major, BWV 1019 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Bruce Prince-Joseph (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
8.
Partita for Violin solo no 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: 5th movement, Chaconne by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
9.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 9 in A major, Op. 47 "Kreutzer" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin), Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802-1803; Vienna, Austria 
10.
Sea murmurs, Op. 24a by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; Italy 
11.
Poème for Violin and Orchestra in E flat major, Op. 25 by Ernest Chausson
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; France 
12.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), André Previn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; France 
13.
Hora staccato by Grigoras Dinicu
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; Romania 
14.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8 by César Franck
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), André Previn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; France 
15.
Menuet in the style of Porpora by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
16.
Spanischer Tanz by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
17.
Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Germany 
18.
Rondo for Violin and Orchestra no 2 in C major, K 373 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Written: 1781 
19.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in D major, Op. 6 by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Conductor:  Walter Hendl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1817 
20.
Caprices (24) for Violin solo, Op. 1: no 17 in E flat major by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1805; Italy 
21.
Caprices (24) for Violin solo, Op. 1: no 21 in A major by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1805; Italy 
22.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in D major, Op. 19 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
23.
Concerto for Piano no 5 in G major, Op. 55 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Lorin Hollander (Piano)
Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931-1932; Paris, France 
24.
Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; France 
25.
Tale of Tsar Saltan: Suite, Op. 57 - Flight of the bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Russia 
26.
Introduction and Rondo capriccioso for Violin and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 28 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Conductor:  Walter Hendl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; France 
27.
Havanaise for Violin and Orchestra in E major, Op. 83 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; France 
28.
Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 by Pablo de Sarasate
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878 
29.
Romance for Violin and Piano in D major, Op. 23 by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; Poland 
30.
Variations (38) on a Gavotte from Corelli's Op. 5, B F11 "L'arte del arco" by Giuseppe Tartini
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1758; Italy 
31.
Sérénade mélancolique for Violin and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 26 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; Russia 
32.
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Russia 
33.
Scherzo-Tarantelle in G minor, Op. 16 by Henri Wieniawski
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856 
34.
Légende for Violin and Orchestra in G major, Op. 17 by Henri Wieniawski
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1860; St. Petersburg, Russ 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 elegant and refined July 4, 2017 By carl i. (Annapolis, MD) See All My Reviews "Beautiful tone - virtuoso performances. Particularly enjoyed the cadenza to the Paganini Concerto - which Erick wrote himself - keeping the performance "his own". Well worth the price. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
Review This Title