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Photo: Neil Cross

Photo: Neil Cross

Wallfisch-York duo

"Raphael Wallfisch and John York are among our best cello-duo teams: their names are a guarantee of excellence"
International Record Review

The Wallfisch-York cello and piano duo dates back about 25 years. They had played together before that time but Raphael's regular duo partner was his father, the wonderful pianist Peter Wallfisch, and John would only occasionally take over his role - if a foreign trip seemed too stressful or clashed with Peter's own concerts or with professorial duties at the Royal College of Music in London.

John stepped in when Peter became ill. What had only been a few concerts became a constant flow and, following Peter's sad death, they established the Wallfisch-York duo on a permanent basis. Major festivals in the UK and abroad invited them to play, London and UK recitals were given and foreign tours undertaken, from Bermuda to Turkey, Germany to Australia, Oman to Norway

They made, over ten years ago, a definitive double CD album of the complete Beethoven works for EMI, greeted with great accolades by the music press and the CD guide - only to have it deleted within the year from the EMI catalogue! That situation was long ago rectified. They play all five sonatas and three sets of variations on Nimbus NI 5741/2 - and to this they add Czerny's authorized version of the towering, brilliant 'Kreutzer' violin sonata Op. 47 and Beethoven's own cello version of the attractive and rarely played horn sonata Op. 19, this coupling on Cello Classics CC 1014

This early trickle of major CD releases was augmented when a Poulenc disc was released in 2005 by ASV with the cello sonata, all the shorter pieces and some songs arranged by John alongside the 2-piano Sonata played by John with Fiona York, their piano duo known as York2. But the ongoing relationship with Nimbus has been the most fruitful collaboration, producing albums of works by Dohnányi, Liszt, Kodaly, Schumann, Zemlinsky, Delius, Grieg, Chopin - and many more

The repertoire Wallfisch and York have performed and recorded is huge. It ranges across the entire spectrum from Bach through to the latest works written for them by leading British composer James MacMillan. John's own Cello Sonata also features in their programmes. Great masterpieces, popular Romantic works, neglected sonatas by great composers, thematically linked concerts, new commissions, brilliant new arrangements, opera fantasies, enlightening programming and programme notes - whatever works to the best, most satisfying and most generous effect - that is, as ever, the Wallfisch-York hallmark

John York
2014