Tasmin Little, BBC PO, Sir Andrew Davis - The Lark Ascending: Works by Moeran, Delius, Holst, Elgar, Vaughan Williams (2013)

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Tasmin Little, BBC PO, Sir Andrew Davis - The Lark Ascending: Works by Moeran, Delius, Holst, Elgar, Vaughan Williams (2013)

The Lark Ascending: E.J. Moeran - Violin Concerto (2013)
and works by Frederick Delius, Gustav Holst, Sir Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams
Tasmin Little (violin); BBC Philharmonic; Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 306 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 176 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 10796 | Time: 01:15:44

Tasmin Little's 2013 release on Chandos is an exploration of lush and lyrical music for violin and orchestra, composed by the leading British composers of the early 20th century, and it is an album of remarkable depth and beauty. Opening the program is the Concerto for violin & orchestra by E.J. Moeran, which sets the mood for the disc with its long-breathed, melancholy lines and pastoral atmosphere. While this is a technically challenging work that shows Little to her best advantage as a virtuoso, listeners may come away from the piece recalling its sweet ambience more than its flashiness. The same could also be said for Frederick Delius' Légende, Gustav Holst's A Song of the Night, and Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, all three of which provide tests for the violinist's skills, yet are filled with such gorgeous music that listeners may only remember the general opulence of the scores. Also included are premiere recordings of Roger Turner's arrangements of Edward Elgar's Chanson de matin, Chanson de nuit, and Salut d'amour, which in orchestration, mood, and style fit the rest of the album nicely. Little's polished playing is supported by the BBC Philharmonic under Andrew Davis, and the combination of her rounded tone with the rich orchestral sonorities makes this CD ideal for fans of sentimental post-Romantic music.

Review by Blair Sanderson, Allmusic.com

Tasmin Little, BBC PO, Sir Andrew Davis - The Lark Ascending: Works by Moeran, Delius, Holst, Elgar, Vaughan Williams (2013)

On this recording, Tasmin Little, an acknowledged standard-bearer for, and specialist in, British music, gives us a feast of works for violin and orchestra, wonderfully supported by Andrew Davis (by all accounts a similar specialist by dint of his recent superb recordings of Elgar, Delius and Holst on Chandos) and the BBC Philharmonic. Little is already known for her many concert performances of The Lark Ascending, an outstandingly original work based ultimately on recurrent cadenzas (which are brilliantly controlled here). She is also well known for her insightful readings of the Delius concertos and sonatas. The somewhat Griegian Légende, albeit an early work written in Paris in 1892, deserves to be better known, for it bears all the hallmarks of Delius’s passionate love of surprising modulations and euphonious melody. Elgar’s miniatures Chanson de matin, Chanson de nuit and the earlier salon hit Salut d’amour are delicious, while Holst’s Song of the Night, not heard until 1984, reveals the unusual incipient chemistry of the composer’s transition from late-19th-century Romanticism to the mysticism of later works such as The Planets.

Little plays it with verve and panache but her most wide-ranging interpretation is reserved for the most substantial work on this disc, Moeran’s magnificent and entirely personal Violin Concerto, written between 1937 and 1942. This work, somewhat scandalously in my view, still remains a neglected masterpiece. Two movements of introspective melancholy lyricism (and what lyricism!), underpinned by Moeran’s particular assimilation of Delian harmony, flank a central Irish jig of tremendous energy, evoked with conviction by Little’s flair and clarity. Indeed, the quicker tempo of this movement (compared with Handley’s earlier recording on Chandos) is particularly thrilling. A sumptuous offering all round!

Review by Jeremy Dibble, Gramophone

Large lettering proclaims The Lark Ascending as this release’s title – and then when you start playing it, you hear the opening of something much less familiar. EJ Moeran – for all his famous alcoholic excesses – was a remarkably consistent composer, and his Violin Concerto (1942) finds his music at its strongest and most inventive. The two slower outer movements pin down an idiom resembling a winsome fusion of Delius’s harmony and Khachaturian’s melodic flow; and while the idea of Moeran in Irish-jig mode might seem a dubious prospect, the result here is a central scherzo which really is fun.

Tasmin Little’s stellar playing – brimming with gorgeous and glitz-free tone, plus a lovely range of light and shade – then graces Delius’s early-ish Légende (already characteristic), Holst’s early A Song of the Night (less so, but substantial nonetheless) and Roger Turner’s skilled conflations of the orchestral and violin-and-piano versions of three Elgar bonbons. Little’s spacious and serene way with The Lark Ascending is both beautiful, and beautifully unfussy. State-of-the-art sensitivity and support come from Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic; and Chandos’s recorded sound presents a feast of clear orchestral detail.

Review by Malcolm Hayes, BBC Music Magazine

Tasmin Little, BBC PO, Sir Andrew Davis - The Lark Ascending: Works by Moeran, Delius, Holst, Elgar, Vaughan Williams (2013)

Tasmin Little (violin)
BBC Philharmonic
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

rec. 23 and 26 May, 2013, MediaCity, Salford, UK


Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1937-42)
01. I. Allegro moderato (13:27)
02. II. Rondo. Vivace (9:33)
03. III. Lento (10:01)

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934)
04. Légende, for Violin and Orchestra (c. 1892-95) (8:15)

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934)
05. A Song of the Night for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 19/1, H 74 (1905) (8:41)

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
06. Chanson de matin, Op. 15/2 (1899) (arr. Roger Turner) (3:04)
07. Chanson de nuit, Op. 15/1 (1897-99) (arr. Roger Turner) (3:47)
08. Salut d’amour, Op. 12 (1888) (arr. Roger Turner) (3:21)

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
09. The Lark Ascending, Romance for Violin and Orchestra (1914, revised 1920) (15:35)

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Analyzed: BBC Philharmonic, Tasmin Little, Sir Andrew Davis / The Lark Ascending

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR18 -2.87 dB -28.76 dB 13:27 01-Concerto for Violin and Orchestra - I. Allegro moderato
DR17 -0.20 dB -24.53 dB 9:33 02-Concerto for Violin and Orchestra - II. Rondo. Vivace
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DR17 -6.20 dB -31.22 dB 15:35 09-The lark Ascending

Number of tracks: 9
Official DR value: DR15

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 560 kbps
Codec: FLAC

Tasmin Little, BBC PO, Sir Andrew Davis - The Lark Ascending: Works by Moeran, Delius, Holst, Elgar, Vaughan Williams (2013)