One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

La Mer Ticciati




simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin

Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive

Cantatas for Soprano


Support us financially by purchasing this from

César FRANCK (1822-1890)
Sonata for violin and piano (1886) [28:36]
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)
Romance Op. 28 (1877) [7:09]
Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937)
Sonata for violin and piano Op. 9 (1904) [21:53]
Romance Op. 23 (1910) [7:27]
Notturno e Tarantella Op. 28 (1915) [11:09]
Tasmin Little (violin)
Piers Lane (piano)
rec. Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, April 2016
CHANDOS CHAN10940 [76:47]

Tasmin Little continues her Chandos discography with a finely programmed disc that sits well alongside her specifically British repertoire. Clearly a pragmatic decision has been made that when it comes to continental European and British repertoire, a form of Brexit is in operation so you won’t find John Ireland alongside, say, Respighi, or Delius next to Richard Strauss. That’s not what happens in her recitals, of course, but there are niche markets involved when it comes to releases on disc.

The Franco-Belgian quotient is headed by Franck’s sonata, which seemingly receives a new recording each week. All the movements sport perfectly calibrated tempo relationships and there are no examples of elastic distensions such as sometimes afflict, in particular, the Recitativo-Fantasia. Performances that deform its structure harm its essential expressive direction but Little and Lane’s reading resembles the classic performance on 78s of Alfred Dubois and Marcel Maas, with that violinist’s lineage going directly back to the great Ysa˙e, for whom the sonata was written as a wedding present. With the deftest of dynamics and a fine control of her malleable, rich tone Little adds gradations of vibrato intensity to her arsenal and Lane brings painterly colour. That tone admits of some throatiness in the second movement and quasi-vocalised intensity in the third – passionate but un-indulgent, the music’s declamation excellently projected. After this hot-house, Fauré’s Berceuse brings balm, its pianistic elegance serving as a bridge to the late-romanticism of Szymanowski’s early Op.9 Violin Sonata.

This is a work that, whilst not really characteristic, appeals to large-scaled playing. David Oistrakh played it with panache, and fiddlers as different as Pławner and Ibragimova have more recently located its stirring power, albeit with varying levels of intensity. Little’s warmly communicative playing is first-class here too, her witty pizzicati in the scherzando being complemented by Lane’s supportive incision. The pleasing Romance, Op.23 was dedicated to the greatest champion of the composer’s violin works, Paul Kochanski, whilst the Notturno e Tarantella, much better known, is played with idiomatic evocation, the Tarantella ending the disc on something of a high.

With a sympathetic recording and good notes this disc continues the fine legacy of recordings made by this outstanding duo.

Jonathan Woolf
Previous review: Stephen Barber



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger