MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Violin Concerto in B minor, op.61 (1910) [50:14]
Alternative Cadenza for the Violin Concerto (1910-1916) [6:17]
Interlude from The Crown of India, op.66 (1912) [3:44]
Polonia, op.76 (1915) [14:15]
Tasmin Little (violin)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis
rec. 24-26 May 2010, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow. DDD
CHANDOS CHSA5083 [74:52]

Experience Classicsonline

Recordings of Elgar’s concerto have come thick and fast recently. This one can more than hold its own in company as distinguished as Thomas Zehetmair and Nicolaj Znaider. The first thing that strikes you is the beauty of the recorded sound: taped in the superb acoustic of Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, the Chandos engineers have done a marvellous job of capturing a lovely bloom around the sound, allowing it to breathe and flow so that the nobility innate in so much of Elgar’s music is all the more apparent. You need only listen to the breadth of phrasing apparent in the opening minute of the work to appreciate their achievement. It works particularly well for the pastoral beauty of the slow movement which sounds, perhaps ironically in the light of the performers and the location, quintessentially “English”.

The orchestral tone itself is gorgeous throughout, grand and sweeping in the main theme of the first movement, yearning and subtle in the “Windflower” themes without losing any of the scale. It helps to have an Elgarian of Andrew Davis’s stature piloting the ship. He is alive to every nuance, shaping every phrase with the authority that comes from a world of experience in this music. He is especially open to the ebb and flow that keeps the first movement going, varying the pace with certainty every time the composer requires it. A gentle haze settles over the slow movement, something I found absolutely gorgeous, but the finale has a real crack to its pace, sounding headlong and unharnessed.

Tasmin Little herself is outstanding throughout. Her technique is rock-solid, tossing off the runs, double-stops and trills as if she were taking a walk in the park. Her command of the fiendish finale is particularly impressive, as is the way she listens to the orchestra so that she is in constant communication with her colleagues, never above them. She is always innately musical, never showy for its own sake, and there is a beautiful sense of communion, of summing up and concluding, in the great cadenza. Incidentally, she worked with harpist Gwawr Owen to reconstruct the cadenza which Elgar composed for his original 1916 recording of the work. Elgar realised that most of the cadenza’s accompaniment would be lost in the limited technology of acoustic recording so he added the harp part to give it extra body, but the part was then lost, so it’s especially interesting to have it included here as a bonus track. It wouldn’t need this to make this performance self-recommending, though. Little and Davis take their place among contemporary recordings by the likes of Znaider and Zehetmair, and I don’t think it’s going too far to say that Little is also worthy to look Kennedy and Bean in the eye without fear.

The Crown of India interlude is serene and reflective, blessed again by Little’s gorgeous violin playing. Polonia was written for a concert in aid of Polish victims of the Great War and contains a collection of stirring melodies by Polish composers (including Paderewski and Chopin) as well as a typically expansive Elgar theme that tugs at the patriotic heartstrings. It’s unashamedly big-boned and it’s very well played, making it an excellent way to finish off a highly successful disc.

Incidentally, the same team will play the concerto in Edinburgh and Glasgow in February 2012 as part of the RSNO’s concert season. See the orchestra's website for details.

Simon Thompson

Other related resources
Review of this recording by Bob Briggs
Nick Barnard’s interview with Tasmin Little
Masterwork index: Elgar's violin concerto








Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.