Frederic Lamond (pianist)
- This is a page about the Scottish pianist and composer. For the Wiccan author and elder please see Fred Lamond.
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Lamond was born in Glasgow, Scotland. After exhausting the resources of his home town, he continued his musical study abroad in Germany under Max Schwarz and Hans von Bülow. He studied with Franz Liszt at Weimar and Rome in 1885, and in London in 1886. In 1886 Lamond also met Johannes Brahms, who coached him in his own works. Lamond also became acquainted with Anton Rubinstein in Germany, hearing him conduct and play many times there, and later in Russia in the 1890s.
In addition to becoming one of the early champions of Brahms' piano works, Lamond was considered the primary authority on Beethoven's piano music before Artur Schnabel, and Breitkopf & Härtel published his edition of the piano sonatas. In 1893 Lamond was invited by Vasily Safonov to Moscow to play Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto in B-flat minor, Op. 23, at the request of the composer. While in Russia, he met Alexander Scriabin, whose Second Sonata, Op. 19, Lamond later played. In the 1920s and '30s, Lamond recorded many works of Beethoven (including an acoustic recording of the "Emperor" Concerto complete under Eugène Goossens, for HMV) and Liszt, as well as a scattered assortment of smaller works by other composers. While not the greatest of technicians by the time of his recordings — reviews from his youth praise his accuracy and bravura in such taxing works as the Brahms Paganini Variations, Op. 35 — his graceful phrasing and singing tone are quite remarkable.
Despite his declining technique, he continued to give concerts until the end of his life, and was in Prague in 1938 when the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia. Forced to leave most of his belongings behind, including an unfinished novel, he left for England. A friend later recounted Lamond's flight when he was stopped at the border at Eger, "A Gestapo officer insisted on seeing his passport. 'You can see it, he said, 'but I will not allow you to take it into your hands.' The officer then asked him, 'Are you an Aryan?' to which Lamond replied, 'No, I am a monkey!' Lamond was a courageously outspoken man who would stand no nonsense."
- de:Irene Triesch
- Frederick Kohn, 'Frederic Lamond: A Memoir', The Journal of the British Institute of Recorded Sound, No. 65, Jan. 1977, p.642.