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York Chamber Music Festival this year features two stunningly beautiful pieces by Richard Strauss from either end of his long composing career – his youthful Cello Sonata (see Event One) and the String Sextet which is the opening of his final opera Capriccio. The opera was written in the early years of World War Two and the sextet subsequently became a stand alone piece and will be played in Event Five of the festival. The sextet was almost certainly a sketch for his string masterpiece Metamorphosen written for 23 solo string players, composed in 1945 as a reaction to the horrors of the war, and the desecration of German culture. You might like to hear Metamorphosen ahead of our performance of the Capriccio Sextet in this year's festival.

The opening bars of Metamorphosen are played by 5 cellos and 2 basses

A newly released recording of Metamorphosen by the Sinfonia of London conducted by John Wilson includes YCMF Artistic Director as one of the five superb solo cellists among the 23 string players. The super audio CD and download options have been receiving rave reviews.

‘… This is the most intense searching performance of Metamorphosen that I’ve heard on disc since Karajan’s 1980’s recording. That’s thanks to a fairly astonishing symbiosis of the conductor’s vision and the orchestra’s playing, combined with first class recorded sound. Altogether this disc is a total treat.’

‘Perhaps nobody since Barbirolli has been able to make strings sing like Wilson.’

(New York Times)

The York Chamber Music Festival performance of the String Sextet from Strauss’s opera Capriccio will be played during the 3.00pm Sunday afternoon concert on18th September 2022 in the Merchant Taylors’ Hall, York. Not to be missed!!

To read about the Sinfonia of London recording of Metamorphosen and the reviews go to


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