Claddagh Records has re-released Frederick May's String Quartet in C Minor, 83 years after it was composed following his return from Vienna in 1936.
It was first released by Claddagh in 1974. Frederick May is regarded as one of Ireland's finest composers.
Born in Dublin in 1911, he attended the Royal Irish Academy of Music and took his Mus.B in Trinity College. Later he attended the Royal College of Music in London under Gordon Jacobs and Vaughan Williams. He subsequently won a travelling scholarship to Vienna.
"The great misfortune that befell May on his return from Vienna was a breakdown in his health - an illness that carried with it the threat of deafness," Hugh MacDiarmuid wrote. May became Director of the Abbey Orchestra and also wrote incidental music for dramas by Padraic Colum, Denis Johnson and Lady Gregory. He was one of the founders of The Music Association of Ireland and also arranged Irish folk music for the performances of orchestra of Radio Eireann.
Following the release of the String Quartet in C Minor Louis Le Brocquy wrote: "The shy image of Fred May...the archetypal artist and the third human being in whom I then seemed to perceive - under that remarkable forehead, os frontis - that genius moved." Throughout his life Frederick May suffered from health issues which required hospitalisation. He died in September 1985.
Claddagh Records was set up in 1959 by Garech Browne (1939 - 2018) and Dr. Ivor Browne (1929 - ).
Frederick May: String Quartet in C minor is available from Claddagh Records, 2 Cecilia Street, Dublin 2 www.claddaghrecords.com firstname.lastname@example.org