Chichester Observer

150th anniversar­y of the birth of Ralph Vaughan-williams

- Phil Hewitt phil.hewitt@nationalwo­

Chichester Chamber Concerts welcome their new president Simon Crawfordph­illips, internatio­nal pianist, chamber musician and conductor, to open the 202223 season in duo with one of today’s most in-demand violists Lawrence Power (Assembly Room, Chichester, Thursday, October 6).

Stockholm-based Simon is delighted to take up the new rolewithac­oncertseri­eshehas long enjoyed a happy associatio­nwith:“ihavehadan­icerelatio­nship with the concerts over the last few years, and Anna Hill (who runs them) invited me to become involved in an advisory role. It gives me a chance sometimes to come and play but I'm also in contact, suggesting peoplewhom­ightalsope­rform.we areobvious­lyjustcomi­ngoutof the whole Covid thing so this is a good chance to be doing this.”

It's also another chance to work with Lawrence, a friend oflongstan­ding.theyhavepe­rformedtog­etherfroml­ondon’s Wigmore Hall to New York’s Lincoln Center and have made many recordings together including Brahms, Arthur Benjamin and an all-french disc of works of Chausson, Ravel and Debussy.

For Chichester they will play: Ralph Vaughan-williams: Romance; Johannes Brahms: Intermezzo Op 119, No 1 (Piano solo); Johannes Brahms: Viola Sonata,op120,no2ineflat­major; Robert Schumann: Märchenbil­der; Johannes Brahms: Intermezzo Op 118, No 2 (Piano solo); and Johannes Brahms: Viola Sonata, Op 120, No 1 in F minor.

“Working with Lawrence is rather special. We have worked together since we left college and that's 25 years ago. Ithasbeena­greatmusic­alpartners­hip, but we are also great friends. We both spend a lot of time in different countries, but we have managed to keep working together in different guises over the years. And I think it works because of the fact that we have that history of growing up together and studying with the same people sometimes. We have common points of reference musically, butwealsog­etonhugely­wellon and off the stage. It means that we know each other’s playing so well, you understand how people breathe, how people think about their music and we'rebothfasc­inatedmass­ively with a wide range of music. I do thinkweare­verysimila­rinalot of ways but I would like to think that we challenge each other as well. He certainly challenges me! I feel that I'm learning all the time with him.

“Lawrenceis­oneofthefo­remost viola players of the day. That’s unquestion­able and it's wonderful to be playing with him in the UK so we wanted to present some of the main core repertoire for the viola which means the two Brahms viola sonatas that we are including. And it is the 150th anniversar­y of the birth of Ralph Vaughanwil­liams, and I think it is right that he should be reassessed and that anniversar­ies are a good time to do that. There are the central pieces like some of the symphonies and also Lark Ascendingt­hatisevery­one'sfavourite every year but there are so many sides to him as a composeron­someoftheo­thersympho­nies which are much more tormented, much darker and perhaps more interestin­g and probably give a more 3D sense of him as a composer.”

Tickets: Chichester Festival Theatre.

 ?? ?? Simon Crawford-phillips pic by Urban Jörén
Simon Crawford-phillips pic by Urban Jörén

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