I have known composer Francis Pott for many years now, and 2019 saw the first musical fruits of our friendship. Francis writes music of great lyricism and complexity, and I had the extraordinary experience of giving two performances of Francis’s Cello Sonata, on consecutive days. The work is epic in its emotional scope and has been defined in the press as one of the finest British chamber works of the twentieth century. I did wonder whether I would be able to bring off two performances, but not only did the music carried both Francis and me along, we were able also to give the premiere of Francis’s This is the Morning. I was deeply honoured to be asked by Francis to take the solo cello line in a new work for chamber choir and solo cello, entitled At First Light. This is Francis’s ‘semi-secular requiem’, with texts in Latin and English drawn from a variety of sources. The work was premiered in March 2019 with the extraordinary Oxford-based chamber choir Commotio and has been recorded by Naxos for release this summer. I’ll be letting everyone know when it’s out!