Flight of Phantasy
July 7 - 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Special guests Liz Neville, Harry Swainston and Lachlan Wilkins join forces with Conservatorium Staff Patrick Brearley and Annabelle Swainston to present a wonderful evening of string quintet masterpieces. We welcome adding a second viola to the standard string quartet, to produce an even richer, more sonorous texture.
Ralph Vaughan Williams is one of England’s most important 20th century composers. Written in 1912, this roaming one-movement composition indeed conjures idyllic images of the rolling English countryside. The title “Phantasy” implies a freedom of expression, to follow whatever “fancy” the composer would like. Williams also has a keen interest in folk song and ancient sonorities of the 17th century, drawing inspiration from the rich tapestry of the Tudor Era.
This fantasy theme is continued in Johannes Brahms’ String Quintet in F major, op. 88 – composed in 1882 with an unusually uninhibited sunny character. Though it remains curiously under recognised relative to much of the rest of his chamber music, in the composer’s estimation, this quintet is “one of my finest works,” as he proudly attested to Clara Schumann. And to his publisher, Fritz Simrock, Brahms promised, “You have never had such a beautiful work from me.” This beauty blossoms from a deep yet unrequited love for Clara – a clear muse and source of fantasy for many of Brahms’ great works.
We then finish with a fast flight of devilish notes in the riveting “Death by Triple Fiddle”. This song is featured on double bassist Edgar Meyer’s album “Short Trip Home” in which he is joined by classical violinist Joshua Bell and bluegrass musicians Sam Bush and Mike Marshall.
Ralph Vaughan Williams “Phantasy” Quintet
Johannes Brahms String Quintet no 1 in F major op. 88
Edgar Meyer “Death by Triple Fiddle” (arranged for string quartet)
This Program is presented in junction with the 2022 Coffs Con String Camp.