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Violin Sonatas: Strauss | Respighi
Tasmin Little (violin), Piers Lane (piano)

Tasmin Little has decided to showcase works by Ottorino Respighi and Richard Strauss in her latest recital album for Chandos. She is joined by the well-respected Australian pianist Piers Lane.

Respighi is best known for his orchestral music, and Richard Strauss for both his orchestral music and operas, and therefore their chamber music has tended to take a back seat, however unfairly. On this recording we explore a few such neglected works, all of which display the full range of emotion, drama, harmonic exploration, and technical brilliance that characterised romanticism at its height.

Respighi wrote his Violin Sonata at the peak of his creative powers. Full-blooded and romantic, it explores both Italian lyricism and powerful dramatic gestures, and as such provides both instrumentalists with a virtuoso workout.

The composer’s Sei pezzi (Six Pieces) for violin and piano inhabit the very different world of intimate salon music.

Tasmin Little and Piers Lane have chosen three of the six pieces for this album. No. 2, Melodia, is the only one originally intended for violin and piano, a brief, but lovely song without words. No. 4, Valse caressante, was written first for piano solo and, with its lolloping melodic lilt, is appropriately titled. Finally, No.5, Serenata, is based on material from Respighi’s first opera, Re Enzo, composed in 1904 – 05.

The Violin Sonata of Richard Strauss represents a crossroads in his creative journey. On the one hand, the language evokes the rigour and definition of Strauss as we know him. On the other, the sonata is an abstract work, not far removed from the dramatic sound-pictures and high romanticism so characteristic of the works of Liszt and Wagner.

Tasmin Little enjoys a flourishing career that has taken her to every continent and major orchestra around the world. She continues to champion seldom-performed repertoire, and her playing helped secure the Critics’ Choice Award at the 2011 Classic BRIT Awards for the Chandos recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto, with alternative cadenza, and rarely heard Polonia. In great demand as a chamber musician, Piers Lane has given sold-out recitals at the Wigmore Hall, London and the opening recital at the new Melbourne Recital Centre.

Amazon website

Review - February 2013

"Both sonatas are played here with complete understanding and spontaneity, and bring moments of true musical virtuosity. Piers Lane is a first-class pianist and forms a fine partnership with Tasmin Little, whose tone is caught with great beauty, for the Chandos recording is completely real and naturally balanced."

Ivan March

Amazon website

Delius Violin Concerto - www.classicalsource.com, January 2012

"Tasmin Little and Paul Watkins sound as one in this recording, blending and listening like chamber musicians. In addition, both are balanced naturally much as in the concert hall, rather than spot-lit. The listener can follow all of the parts, both solo and orchestral, and details are presented with clarity.

Delius’s Violin Concerto, written for Albert Sammons whose 1944 recording remains a gem in the catalogue .... Tasmin Little has had this soaring work in her repertoire for some time, and the experience shows, especially in those parts well above the stave, which are as secure and well-considered as one could hope for. Coupled with this are spontaneity, so essential in Delius, and an ebb and flow that finds a sympathetic partner in Sir Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The cadenza is wonderfully played and paced. Little's earlier recording (now on Decca) with Sir Charles Mackerras is an equally fine performance, but Chandos's more-natural balance has the greater appeal. EMI's anniversary box includes the Double Concerto and Violin Concerto in Yehudi Menuhin's recordings, the former with Paul Tortelier, well worth hearing, but less refined in playing (and sound) than this newcomer."
Peter Joelson
Double Concerto,- Violin Concerto - Cello Concerto
Tasmin Little, violin - Paul Watkins, cello

BBC Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Sir Andrew Davis

Format: Super Audio CD
Catalog No.: 5094
Released: October 2011

Reviews of the Delius CD are available here


BEETHOVEN: Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra
Tasmin Little (violin), Tim Hugh (cello), Howard Shelley (piano and conductor)
Opera North Orchestra and Chorus

The piano remained the main instrument of Beethoven throughout his life, and this specially priced 4-CD box set represents his entire and sizeable output for piano and orchestra, starting with the early Piano Concerto in E flat, WoO 4 a work of tremendous energy and great technical demands, which Beethoven wrote when he was just twelve years old and ending with Piano Concerto No. 5, the only one that Beethoven never performed himself in concert, due to his developing deafness. Howard Shelley was awarded an OBE for services to classical music at the 2009 New Year Honours. He here conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North from the piano. Shelley has recorded extensively for Chandos over the years, and he has combined the role of solo pianist and conductor on numerous occasions, most recently with the Orchestra of Opera North in Piano Concertos by Schumann, Saint-Saëns, and Grieg (CHAN 10509), but also with the London Mozart Players, recording works by Cramer, Hummel, Mendelssohn, and Mozart. All his recordings have received superb reviews. Beethoven wrote the Triple Concerto on this disc in 1803 during a lull in the composition of his opera Fidelio. Works for violin, cello and piano were fairly common at the time but combining them with orchestra was, as Beethoven himself observed, something entirely new, and no other concerto of this kind from this period is known today. In this work, Howard Shelley is joined by the violinist and exclusive Chandos artist Tasmin Little, who won the Critics Choice Award at this years Classic BRITS, and by the cellist Tim Hugh, of whom The Times said: Mr Hugh is much more than just a Cellist, he is a musician with a compelling insight into the creative urge behind the notes.

Beethoven: Complete Works For Piano And Orchestra
*Tasmin Little (violin), *Tim Hugh (cello)
Howard Shelley (piano and conductor)
Opera North Orchestra and +Chorus

Audio CD (Release date: 31 Oct 2011)
Number of Discs: 4
Format: Box set

Chandos: CHAN 10695(4)

HMV website

Elgar Violin Concerto
Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis
Alternative Cadenza for the Violin Concerto
Interlude from 'The Crown of India', Op. 66
Polonia, Op. 76

Tasmin Little (violin)

Recorded at Royal Concert Hall, Glasow.
CHSA 5083
Total Time: 74'52 –
Release: November 1st 2010

For Sound Clips on the CHANDOS website: CLICK HERE

A number of further excellent reviews are here: LINK (PDF - 1.8 Mb)

Partners in Time - BBC Music Magazine April 2009

As the natural follow-up to Tasmin Little's trailblazing The Naked Violin - a free download with spoken introduction which is available from her website (www.tasminlittle.org.uk) - this is the first in a series of albums intended primarily for the classically uninitiated. Although a collection of attractive miniatures might arguably have provided a more immediately accessible 'way in', given the premise of a chronologically presented main course of three prototypical sonatas, it's hard to imagine a more appetising selection than the E major by Bach (BWV1016), the C major by Mozart (K296) and Grieg's in G (Op. 13).
The perfect aperitif is provided by Kreisler's glorious Pugnani pastiche, the Praeludium and Allegro, with Tchaikovsky's introspective Melodie and Bartok's indelible Romanian Folk Dances rounding out the repast in style. Little and Lenehan play with captivating warmth and joie de vivre throughout, giving even Perlman and Barenboim (DG) a run for their money in the Mozart charm stakes. Just occasionally, as in the fourth Romanian Dance, Little's relatively wide, medium-paced vibrato proves a mild distraction, but this is still a richly enjoyable recital that deserves every success

Julian Haylock

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Partners in Time
Fritz Kreisler , J.S.Bach, W.A.Mozart, Edvard Grieg,
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Béla Bartók.

Tasmin Little (violin) - John Lenehan (piano)

Recorded at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Surrey.
Total Time: 69'40 –
Release: March 2009 EAN 7318590017449

For Sound Clips on the BIS/NAXOS website: CLICK HERE
Virtuoso Tasmin Little's website is good-looking, well laid out, and helpful if you're new to downloading music files. You can sample its individual tracks or pieces on your computer before burning a high quality CD, and Little provides an extra 25 minutes of commentary for novices, more experienced listeners, and teachers. Her aim is to show off the versatility of the unaccompanied violin, and encourage those who would never buy a classical CD to give it a listen -'. People are comfortable with their computers,' she says. 'Online, you might try something you'd never dream of doing anywhere else...' The recording has a nice bloom, and the pieces are all played in a full-blooded, engaged style - you can imagine them like this in a concert, odd rough edge and all. Her Bach has vigour in the rhythms and phrasing, and doesn't sit down or become indulgent. In Paul Patterson's Variations she shows off her command of various string techniques without losing sight of the musical argument, and the Ysaÿe is alternately warm and impetuous. An experiment which deserves a wide uptake.
Martin Cotton
- BBC Music Magazine April 2008
... to read the review as PDF (156kb), please CLICK HERE
Tasmin Little - The Naked Violin
Bach - Partita in E major for solo violin No.3 BWV 1006
Paul Patterson - Luslawice Variations Op.50 for violin

Eugène Ysaÿe - Sonata No.3 in D minor "Ballade"

recorded January 2008 at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Surrey.

BBC Music Magazine April 2008

This disc is the most impressive instalment in the Hyperion romantic violin concerto series; superb and most beautifully recorded and played. It is cause for wonder that Tasmin Little has been prepared to invest precious time and dedication in recording these cinderellas of the repertoire. I hope she realises that the listening public is grateful......
......By now I must have played this disc at least ten times for the sheer pleasure of the experience. Do give these two 'unknowns' a try.
Rob Barnett www.musicweb.uk.net
to read a review in French, please CLICK HERE
Moszkowski - Karlowicz
Violin Concertos & Ballade in G minor op.16
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

conducted by Martyn Brabbins

Gramophone Editor's Choice Award,
November, 2003

"Luscious lollipops that show off these players' sense of fun and formidable skill" - Gramophone

Tasmin's interview on BBC Radio 4's "Frontpage"
Arts Programme (7min) October 15 2004

CLICK HERE (Right click mouse) and choose
"Save As" to download the interview (
7.13 MB)

and other virtuoso works

with John Lenehan
The Long awaited follow-up to Tasmin's earlier virtuoso disc for EMI. This recording is released as part of the re-launch of
Classics for Pleasure - Recorded 2003
EMI 5856152

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.....Her tone is sweet, with considerable vibrato, the start of the Adagio of the Bruch compellingly still and tonally rich. Her phrasing connects musically, drawing the ear as the music unfolds with unerring attention to shape and pace.....
Christopher Fifield www.musicweb.uk.net
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Bruch and Dvorak Violin Concerti, (CD1) Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole
and Bruch's Scottish Fantasy (CD2)

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for Violin Concerti (CD1) BBC
Scottish Symphony Orchestra for Lalo & Bruch: Scottish Fantasy (CD2)
conducted by Vernon Handley
NOTE - 2 CDs

These recordings are being re-issued by EMI on October 3rd 2011
Recorded: 1989 (Bruch) and 1991 (Brahms)

Showcasing violinist Tasmin Little's impressive versatility, these recordings highlight her sensitivity to both orchestral and chamber works. From the lyricism and blues-inspired melodies of Ravel's Violin Sonata to the impassioned melodies of Delius's Double Concerto, Little's playing breathes life into every aspect of the music.
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Ravel: Violin Sonata, Poulenc: Violin Sonata, Debussy: Violin Sonata in G minor (CD1) Tasmin Little / Piers Lane (piano)

Delius: Paris - The Song of a Great City, Delius: Concerto for violin, cello
and orchestra, Delius: Cello Concerto (CD2)
Tasmin Little / Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras (conductor)

NOTE - 2 CDs

These recordings are being re-issued by EMI on October 3rd 2011


This collection of recordings illuminates two different sides of violinist Tasmin Little's accomplished playing. While the Brahms and Sibelius Concertos are a testament to her technical skill and breadth of expression, the Pärt works display a more pared-back approach, making full use of Little's pure and resonant tone.

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Brahms, Sibelius and Arvo Pärt
Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Op. 77
Sibelius : Violin Concerto in D minor Op.47
Tasmin Little with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,
Vernon Handley (conductor) (CD1)

Part: Fratres (1980 version) for violin and piano - Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten for string orchestra and bell - Summa for string orchestra - Spiegel im Spiegel for violin and piano - Festina lente for string orchestra and harp - Tabula rasa for two violins, string orchestra and prepared piano - Ludus (with movement) - Silentium (without movement)
Tasmin Little (violin) / Martin Roscoe (piano) / Robert Aldwinckle (prepared piano) Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Richard Studt (director and violin II) (CD2)
NOTE - 2 CDs

These recordings are being re-issued by EMI on October 3rd 2011

Tasmin Little's formidable technical ability and gift for interpretation are unmistakable in this collection of showpieces. Displaying her brilliant virtuosity and captivating lyricism, and including her own witty Tchaikovskiana, written in collaboration with John Lenehan, these works highlight Little's breathtaking skill as a performer.
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Tasmin Little - Violin Show pieces
Kreisler: Praeludium and Allegro 'in the style of Pugnani' - Brahms/arr. Joachim: Hungarian Dance No.1 in G minor: Allegro molto - Shostakovich: Romance (from The Gadfly) - Drigo/arr. Auer: Valse bluette - Fibich/arr. Kubelik: Poeme (Moods, Impressions and Reminiscences Op.41) - Falla/arr. Kreisler: Danse espagnole (La vida breve) - Wieniawski/arr.Wilhelmj: Legend Op.17 - Sarasate: Introduction and Tarantella Op.43 - Brahms/arr. Joachim - Bloch: Nigun (baal shem) - Debussy: Beau soir - Kreisler: Caprice vennois Op.2 - Rimsky-Korsakov/arr. Heifetz : The Flight of the Bumblebee (The Tale of Tsar Saltan) - Delius/arr. Tertis: Serenade (Hassan) - Schubert/arr. Wilhelmj: Ave Maria D839 - Kroll: Banjo and Fiddle - Ravel: Tzigane - Rapsodie de concert Tasmin Little (violin), Piers Lane (piano) (CD1)

Lenehan/Little: Tchaikovskiana - Elgar: Salut d'amour Op.12 - Kreisler: Liebesleid - Brahms/arr. Joachim : Hungarian Dance No.2 in D minor - Delius: Legende in E flat - Brahms: F-A-E Sonata - iii. Scherzo in C minor - Ravel: Piece en forme d'habanera - Sainsbury: Cuban Dance No.2 - Kreisler : Tambourin Chorus Op.3 - Janacek: Dumka - Heuberger/arr. Kreisler: Midnight Bells (Im Chambre separee) - Kreisler: La Gitana (Zigeunerlied) - Ponce/arr. Heifetz: Estrellita (Mexican Serenade) - Monti/arr. Little/Lenehan: Czardas Tasmin Little (violin), John Lenehan (piano) CD2)
NOTE - 2 CDs

These recordings are being re-issued by EMI on October 3rd 2011


..... Little has a strong affinity for Delius, which she demonstrated in her reading of the Violin Concerto (Argo 433 704), and the sound of her 1757 Guadignini gives this probing music a burnished sound .....
.....These rhapsodic ramblings take us into this unique composer's depths, and the combination of Little's understanding and Lane's canny interpretations of the sometimes-sketch, often fluid piano parts are masterful.....
Tom di Nardo cdchoice.com

Sonata Op Posth. in B major (1892)
Sonata No 1 (1905-14)
Sonata No 2 (1923)
Sonata No 3 (1930) with Piers Lane
Recorded 1997
BMG Conifer 51315 2