The Bassinova Quartet performs an arrangement of the Phantasy Quintet by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams for five double basses, with special guest Gary Karr. As an intercontinental ensemble, each part was recorded remotely. The arranger and one of the Quartet’s bassists Daniel Nix performs both violin parts, supplementing for a last-minute dropout; Gary Karr plays the first viola part; Mariechen Meyer is in second viola; and the cello part is played by Gustavo Mazon Finess.

The Phantasy Quintet, originally for two violins, two violas and one cello, was composed by Vaughan Williams in 1912. It was commissioned by the businessman and chamber-music enthusiast Walter Wilson Cobbett and was premiered by the London String Quartet on 23 March 1914, led by Albert Sammons with James Lockyer performing as the additional violist.

The work is based upon the popular Elizabethan phantasy form, often spelt as ‘fantasy’, in which several unrelated but varied sections join together to form a longer work

’It was an exciting musical experience for me, and I feel honoured to have been a part of this important endeavour,’ Karr told The Strad

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The Strad’s Masterclass series brings together the finest string players with some of the greatest string works ever written. Always one of our most popular sections, Masterclass has been an invaluable aid to aspiring soloists, chamber musicians and string teachers since the 1990s.


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