A Portrait of Frederic James

A Portrait of Frederic James

Virgil Thomson was not generally characterized as a man of few words. Apparently the painter Frederic James was drawing Thomson’s New York apartment, making notes for a stage set design he was working on, and the composer decided to do a little sketching of his own. In the resulting 1:42 musical portrait of James, Thomson definitely aims for brevity while still managing to get in an ample amount of musical color from the cello and piano.

—MS

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