W0006. FREDERICK THURSTON - Centenary Tribute, incl. Bliss, Stanford, Rawsthorne & Gordon Jacob. (E.U.) Clarinet Classics 0037, w.elaborate 28pp brochure featuring extensive biography. Long out-of-print, Final copy! - 5023581003722
“Thurston’s playing had two incomparable characteristics: his noble tone, and his exquisitely musical, sensitive phrasing. His was an art at times near tears and his playing, particularly of slow melodies was elegiac poetry suffused with wounding pathos….As soloist in the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and as a chamber music player he had no rival, and as a teacher he had the priceless gift of infecting his students with his own selfless devotion to music.”
- Walter Legge, WORDS AND MUSIC, pp.125-26
"Known to many through his reputation, but to much fewer through his playing, this historic CD gives an opportunity to hear one of Britain’s most distinguished clarinettists. Dating from the first half of the 20th Century the recordings of the Bliss Quintet with the Griller Quartet and 'Caoine' by Stanford, provide a fascinating insight into this major musical figure."
Bliss – Clarinet Quintet
Stanford – ‘Caoine‘, from his Sonata
Gordon Jacob – Quintet
Rawsthorne – Quartet
Also included on this disc are performances from Thurston’s widow, the eminent clarinettist, Thea King, with the Aeolian Quartet."
- Clarinet Classics
“From the age of 7 Thurston was taught by his father and he won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music, becoming a pupil of Charles Draper. During the 1920s he played with the orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the BBC Wireless Orchestra before becoming principal clarinettist of the newly formed BBC Symphony Orchestra. He left the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1946 to concentrate on chamber music.
He was also principal clarinet of The Philharmonia Orchestra and can be heard on the Toscanini recording of the Brahms Symphonies.
He gave the first performance of new works, including Arnold Bax's Clarinet Sonata, Arthur Bliss' Clarinet Quintet and Gerald Finzi's Clarinet Concerto. Works dedicated to him include Malcolm Arnold's Clarinet Concerto #1, Iain Hamilton's Three Nocturnes, Herbert Howells' Clarinet Sonata, John Ireland's Fantasy-Sonata, Gordon Jacob's Clarinet Quintet, Elizabeth Maconchy's Clarinet Concertino #1 and Alan Rawsthorne's Clarinet Concerto.
He taught at the Royal College of Music from 1930 to 1953. In 1953 he married Thea King, one of his pupils, but died later the same year from lung cancer.”