The LSO counts the finest orchestral players among its members and its principal players, originating from over 20 countries, are renowned soloists in their own right. Many of these players have developed new ensembles within the Orchestra to hone their incredible musicianship in different ways - from recent recordings of Reich by the LSO Percussion Ensemble to unique chamber performances of Stravinsky The Soldier’s Tale and Mozart Gran Partita. The LSO String Ensemble, directed by Orchestra Leader Roman Simovic and featuring virtuoso principals from each section, are a key example of this practice, showcasing the wealth of talent that the London Symphony Orchestra has to offer. Following two well-received releases, the LSO String Ensemble continues on LSO Live with three English masterpieces, two of which given their first performances by the Orchestra. Premiered in 1910 by the LSO, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis is a visionary fusion of folksong and sacred music. Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, a challenging landmark of 20th-century string writing, takes the composer’s friend and teacher as its subject with each variation exploring a different aspect of Bridge’s character. Opening the album, Elgar’s Introduction and Allegroi is an incredibly well-loved work with a special significance for the LSO, having been composed for and premiered by the Orchestra.