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Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Sussex Folk Tunes

Capriccio C5314
Recording Date: 
2 Mar 2017
Recording Venue: 
Philharmonie, Ludwigshafen/Germany
August 2017

This all happened at rather short notice: In late 2016, Johannes Kernmayer, the artistic director and previous owner of the Capriccio label, asked me if I would be willing to record this piece for the "Modern Times" series of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie – three months later, and all that while I was still living in New Zealand. It all worked out somehow, and within five days in Europe we performed and recorded this piece, and I managed to record the Poulenc cello sonata as well.

The Fantasia on Sussex Folk Tunes is a charming, very (!) English piece. It was written for Casals, and then Vaughan Williams retracted it, before it came back into print at some point in the 1990s. The solo part, let's be honest, is not hugely difficult except for one or two a little awkward passages. It is definitely one of those pieces that young cellists should play, and all I can say is that I prefer it to the omnipresent Lark Ascending. The entire repertoire of this CD was a revelation for me. Thanks to Johannes, and of course the wonderful Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and their then chief conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens.