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  RECENT CD Releases  
Tasmin Little plays Bowen, Ireland,
Alwyn, Brown, Coates

Tasmin Little, vln, Piers Lane, pf
British Violin Sonatas, Volume 3
YORK BOWEN - Sonata, Op.112 (1945)
JOHN IRELAND - Sonata No.2 (1915-17)
JAMES FRANCIS BROWN - The Hart's Grace (2016)
WILLIAM ALWYN - Sonatina (1933)
ERIC COATES - First Meeting (1941, revised 1943)

British Violin Sonatas Volume 3 (Tasmin Little, Piers Lane)Little and Lane steer a fine series to an equally fine conclusion.

by Brett Allen-Bayes on July 27, 2020

In this, the third and final instalment of an excellent series devoted to 20th-century British chamber works for violin and piano, the very fine violinist Tasmin Little has chosen to farewell with a lesser-known selection of works than in her previous instalments. Little has always been an enquiring musician who is always up for a challenge as those who have attended her local concerts will attest.

Those concerts have also attested to her love of British composers. Now considering retirement from the stage, Little has chosen to consolidate that love with a triptych of fine albums featuring the sympathetic pianism of Piers Lane – and here is a true partnership, rather than violinist and accompanist, as they set out to present rarer choices for the third album in this important set of recordings.

Firstly should be noted the world premiere recording of The Hart’s Grace (2016), a work of “dreamy intensity” written especially for Little by the contemporary composer, Francis Brown. Each of the three central works in this recital have had troubled histories and have remained underappreciated. Alwyn’s early Sonatina was disowned by the composer as juvenilia and yet has thankfully survived to receive this gracious performance. Similarly, York Bowen’s work remained little-known or appreciated until a couple of decades ago; and here he’s represented by his sonata, Op. 112, an intense and perhaps rather neurotic work from the 1940s. This contrasts well with Ireland’s Second Sonata, dating from the troubled 1910s.

These works are ideally suited to a player of Little’s character and commitment, and Piers Lane only adds to this intoxicating and often almost febrile mix.

All of these choices offer much to show the talents of these musicians, for Little is a giving player with a a passionate style and an enquiring mind; the perfect foil lies in her choice of pianist, Piers Lane and hopefully together the two of them, with this excellent recording, can re-present this overlooked music to an appreciative public. Now, can Chandos please release all three volumes as a set?

Tasmin Little plays Franck, Faure & Szymanowski

Tasmin Little, vln, Piers Lane, pf

Tasmin Little plays Franck, Faure & Szymanowski

CÉSAR FRANCK - Sonata, M 8 (1886)
GABRIEL FAURE - Romance, Op.28 (1877)
KAROL SZYMANOWSKI - Sonata, Op.9 (1904)

CHANDOS  /  CHAN 10940

The Strad Magazine
Tasmin Little plays Franck, Szymanowski, and Fauré
A powerful, strongly performed recital from an outstanding duo

To sound its finest, Franck’s chromatically charged, sensually alluring Sonata requires playing of devoted intensity, and that is precisely what it receives from Tasmin Little and Piers Lane. Throughout the languorous opening allegretto, they entwine their phrases with a pulsating seductiveness that is shattered by the second movement’s explosive, hurtling momentum. Here, Lane’s fearless and headlong negotiation of Franck’s notoriously tricky writing allows Little to soar aloft with captivating emotional abandon. Rarely has the explosion of A major radiance that crowns the finale been sounded with such life-affirming incandescence. Fauré’s Romance, which tantalises with its noble restraint, forms the interlude before Szymanowski’s distinctive brand of intoxicating exoticism takes hold.
The Franck-inspired Sonata shows the 22-year-old composer flexing his creative muscles with gleeful exuberance, and here Little and Lane hurl themselves into the fray with carefree delight, achieving a beguiling frisson seldom captured under studio conditions. By 1910 (when the op.23 Romance was composed) Szymanowski had developed into an Scriabinesque expressionist with a penchant for ecstatic melody, a tendency developed still further in the Notturno e Tarantella, which rethinks the Sarasate–de Falla prototype with a Debussy-like flair. It receives another gripping performance from this outstanding duo, captured in luxuriant sound of bracing physical projection.
Julian Haylock
Gramophone Magazine

Tasmin Little plays Franck, Szymanowski, and Fauré
It occurred to me while listening to this sensitively planned programme that the vintage violinist who Tasmin Little most reminds me of is Alfredo Campoli in his prime, by which I mean parallel degrees of warmth, tonal bloom, agility and a feeling of oneness with the instrument that spins the illusion that for the duration she is the violin. These are wholesome, red-blooded performances, direct and deeply satisfying, with no lack of imagination, the Szymanowski Sonata (1904) audibly reflective of both Brahms and Schumann, though the ethereal glitter that fills the composer’s later output edges around much of the canvas.
Little’s rapport with the superb Piers Lane strikes home right from the sonata’s passionate opening. As a team they pull out whatever stops are necessary to make the music work, although no one could claim that this D minor essay is on the same artistic level as, say, the Mythes or the mysterious Notturno e Tarantella of 1917 that ends the programme. Here Little adjusts her approach to accommodate the other-worldly aspects of Szymanowski’s more mature muse, switching to a slim, sinewy sound for the introduction then digging deep for the main body of the piece, navigating the textures with plenty of sensual tone.
Franck’s Sonata was a wedding present from the composer to the violinist-composer Ysaÿe and once again Tasmin Little and Piers Lane chart love’s course from the sophisticated romance of the opening Allegretto ben moderato to the near-operatic candour of the Recitativo-Fantasia with conviction, the finale opening with an appropriately breezy smile. The Franck is tailed with Fauré’s barcarolle-like Romance of 1877, music infused with a deep sense of nostalgia, whereas the Szymanowski sonata is followed by a rather darker and more expressively outreaching Romance (1910), which he dedicated to his friend the violinist Paul Kochanski and which Little invests with considerable intensity.
As to a final reckoning, I’d still recommend Alina Ibragimova with pianist Cédric Tiberghien as prime representatives of the numinous in Szymanowski’s violin chamber repertoire but the disc under review achieves a fine balance of interpretative qualities and is much to be recommended. I note with interest that Tasmin Little is scheduled to record Szymanowski’s two violin concertos and on the evidence of what we have here I’m confident that we shan’t be disappointed, provided she’s granted top-notch orchestral support.
Rob Cowan

The Observer
The selling point here may be the Franck Sonata for violin and piano, but the less familiar repertoire – Fauré’s Romance Op 28 and three works by Szymanowski – makes its own case in these impassioned performances by violinist Tasmin Little and her regular pianist Piers Lane. All their discs for Chandos include duo works that deserve to be better known. Szymanowski’s Sonata Op 9 (1904), expansive and romantic with some of the grandeur of Franck’s sonata, has energy and poetry. The second movement, with its yearning melody and mawkish pizzicato interventions, beguiles and charms. Little is one of the most open-hearted players around, with a watertight virtuosity to match. These are direct and generous performances to savour.
Fiona Maddox
Classical Ear

Such dazzlingly assured, unflinchingly communicative music-making, this, vividly captured by the microphones.

César Franck's adorable Violin Sonata comes up as fresh as new paint in this urgently expressive and memorably flexible performance by Tasmin Little and Piers Lane. It's the opening item on their latest disc for Chandos and is followed by a no less sympathetic rendering of Gabriel Fauré's Romance in B flat major, a charming morsel completed in 1877. The rest of the programme is given over to three works by Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937), the most ambitious of which comprises the early (1904) D minor Violin Sonata, a big-hearted creation, like the Franck cyclical in form, and boasting an especially endearing, gorgeously songful slow movement with a deliciously playful pizzicato interlude at its heart. The soaringly lyrical Romance (1910) evinces a strong kinship with the composer's Second Symphony from the previous year, while the Notturno e Tarantella (1917) serves up an intoxicating feast of heady voluptuousness and headlong virtuosity. Such dazzlingly assured, unflinchingly communicative music-making, this, vividly captured by the microphones. Excellent news, too, that Little has already set down both of Szymanowski's glorious violin concertos with Ed Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra – a mouthwatering prospect!
Andrew Achenbach

British Violin Sonatas,
Volume 2
Tasmin Little, vln, Piers Lane, pf
British Violin Sonatas, Volume 2
Bliss - Sonata for Piano and Violin
Bridge - Sonata for Violin & Piano
Ireland - Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor
Lloyd Webber, W - The Gardens at Eastwell (Premiere recording)
Vaughan Williams - Romance & Pastorale for violin & piano

Walter Braunfels Vol. 3:
Don Gil von den grünen Hosen Suite/Konzertstücke/Die Vogel/Serenade/Don Gil Prelude [SACD HYBRID] stereo only

Dutton Epoch CDXL7327
SCHUBERT Chamber Works
Schubert Chamber Works
Tasmin Little, violin
Piers Lane,
Tim Hugh

Chandos  /  CHAN 108502
PRESTO Classics
Complete Piano Concertos

Malcolm Williamson (1931-2003)
The Complete Piano Concertos
Piers Lane (piano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (conductor)

Hyperion / CDA68011/2


"The Hour of Dreaming"
with Piers Lane, piano

Piano Quintet in E minor Op 41

String Quartet in D minor Op 12
Piano Quintet in E minor Op 41
Piers Lane and the Goldner String Quartet
Hyperion CDA68036
Piano Concerto No 22 in E-flat major, KV482

Mozart: Piano Concerto No 22
Piers Lane (Piano)
Queensland Symphony Orchestra / Johannes Fritzsch, conductor

ABC Shop PLU 348182
Piano Concerto No 24 in C minor, KV491

Mozart: Piano Concerto No 22
Piers Lane (Piano)
Queensland Symphony Orchestra / Johannes Fritzsch, conductor

ABC Shop PLU 348190
PIERS LANE goes to town
Piers Lane goes to town
Piers Lane (Piano)

Hyperion / CDA67967
Buy from Amazon
BERLIOZ - Harold in Italy
The Berlioz, is a tour de force of both arrangement and execution.
© BBC Music Magazine

LISZT, F.: Berlioz - Harold en Italie / Romance oubliee / ROGER, K.: Viola Sonata (P. Dukes, P. Lane)
NAXOS 8.573011
(choose by letter)
 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Buy from Crotchet
Four Stars ****
BBC Music Magazine
July 2007

The Romantic Piano Concerto - 42
Alnæs & Sinding

Hyperion / CDA67555
Piano Quintets
Taneyev: Piano Quintet in G minor Op 30
Arensky: Piano Quintet in D major Op 51
Piers Lane with the Goldner Quartet

Hyperion / CDA67965
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Piano Transcriptions - 3
[with transcriptions by Friedman,
Grainger & Murdoch]
Hyperion / CDA 67344
Still to be released, but already available from Hyperion
Piano Transcriptions, Vol. 8 – Eugen d'Albert

Hyperion / CDA67709

read Gramophone review here

read BBC Music Magazine review here
Buy from Crotchet
Issue 12/07
ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959)
Piano Quintets
Piers Lane, piano

Hyperion / CDA67638
Buy from Crotchet
Three String Quartets & Piano Quintet

Hyperion / CDD22018
Purchase from Amazon
Piano Quintet in F minor Op 34
with the New Budapest Quartet
Hyperion /  CDA 66652


JUNE 2009 BBC Music Magazine
Piano Quintet H49a
String Quartet No 4 H67
Three Idylls H188
with the Goldner String Quartet
Hyperion /  CDA 67726
info & review
British Violin Sonatas,
Volume 1

Howard Ferguson: Sonata No. 2, Op. 10 (1946) for Violin and Piano (Tasmin Little, violin, Piers Lane)
Benjamin Britten: Suite, Op. 6(1934 – 35) for Violin and Piano (Tasmin Little, violin, Piers Lane)
Sir William Walton: Sonata (1947 – 49) for Violin and Piano (Tasmin Little, violin, Piers Lane)
Chandos  /  CHAN 10770
Buy through musicweb
BUSCH, William
Piano Concerto
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by
Vernon Handley
Lyrita / SRCD 320

Buy from Crotchet
Piano Concerto No 1 in B minor Op 2
Piano Concerto No 2 in E Op 12
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by
Allun Francis

Hyperion / CDA 66747
Buy from Amazon

Sonata in F sharp minor Op 10
Scherzo & Intermezzo from Klavierstücke Op 16
Acht Klavierstücke Op 5

Hyperion CDA 66945
Buy from Crotchet

April 2007 BBC Music Magazine

25 songs
Yvonne Kenny (Soprano)
Piers Lane (piano)

Hyperion / CDA67594

Purchase from Amazon
Piano Concerto in C minor
Piano Concerto in C
Eclogue Op 10
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by
Vernon Handley
EMI Eminence 
CD EMX 2239
Buy from Crotchet

"Quite exceptional performances"
Classic CD 9/97
Sonata in B op.posth.
Sonata No.1.
Sonata No.2.
Sonata No.3.
with Tasmin Little, violin
Conifer / 75605513152
Purchase from Amazon
Violin Sonata in B Op Posth
Violin Sonata No 1
Violin Sonata No 2
Violin Sonata No 3
with Tasmin Little, violin
BMG Conifer / 75605 51315 2
Purchase from Amazon
Prelude and Duet from Margot La Rouge
arr. Maurice Ravel
from Irmelin arr.Florent Schmitt
CD: Rarities of Piano Music at Schloss Husum 1998 Festival

dana cord digital / DACOCD 519
Buy from Crotchet

Piano Concerto (1897) - original version
Piano Concerto in E flat major (1930)
Legend for piano & orchestra (1933)
Ulster Orchestra
conducted by David Lloyd Jones
Hyperion / CDA 67296

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Piano Quintets
Goldner String Quartet, Piers Lane (piano)

Piano Quintet No 1 in A major, Op 5
Piano Quintet No 2 in A major, Op 81

Hyperion / CDA67805
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Piano Quintet in A minor Op 84
Vellinger Quartet
EMI Eminence / 
CD EMX 2229

Buy from the Elgar Society
July 2011
Piers Lane and the Goldner Quartet play Elgar

Elgar: String Quartet in E minor, Op. 83
Goldner String Quartet
Elgar: Mina Piers Lane (piano)
Elgar: Laura Valse Piers Lane (piano)
Elgar: Impromptu Piers Lane (piano)
Elgar: March in D major Piers Lane (piano)
Elgar: Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 84
Piers Lane (piano), Goldner String Quartet

Hyperion / CDA 67857
info from


British Violin Sonatas,
Volume 1
Howard Ferguson: Sonata No. 2, Op. 10 (1946) for Violin and Piano (Tasmin Little, violin, Piers Lane)
Benjamin Britten: Suite, Op. 6(1934 – 35) for Violin and Piano (Tasmin Little, violin, Piers Lane)
Sir William Walton: Sonata (1947 – 49) for Violin and Piano (Tasmin Little, violin, Piers Lane)
Chandos  /  CHAN 10770
Buy from Amazon

Rambles and Reflections

Grainger's concert transcriptions of music by other composers
Hyperion / CDA67279

Buy from Amazon
Douze Études caractéristiques de concert Op 2
Poème d'amour Op 3
Douze Études de salon Op 5

Hyperion / CDA67495

Buy from Amazon
Piano Concerto in C minor Op 55
Piano Concerto in D minor Op 137
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Niklas Willén
Hyperion / CDA 67086

Naxos page
LISZT, Franz.:
(Philip. Dukes, viola; Piers Lane)
Berlioz - Harold en Italie, S472/R138
Romance oubliee, S132/R467a
Roger - Viola Sonata, Op. 37, "Irish Sonata"

Naxos: Catalogue No: 8.573011
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Characteristic Studies Op 95
Deux Études Op 98
Deux Études Op 105
Quatre Grandes Études de Concert Op 111
Grande Étude de Concert Op 126
Hyperion / CDA 67394

Pictures at an Exhibition
Three Movements from Petrushka
Islamey - oriental fantasy
EMI Eminence  / CD EMX 2213

Buy from Amazon
Piano Concerto in F sharp
Piano Concerto No 1 in G Major
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Martyn Brabbins
Hyperion / CDA 66820
Piers Lane gambols delightfully through the twentieth century in this album of encores, party pieces and a few pianophile rarities, ranging from Dame Myra Hess’s unforgettable arrangement of Bach’s Jesu, joy of man’s desiring to Dudley Moore’s equally unforgettable Beethoven pastiche.
Hyperion / CDA67967
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Piano Concerto in A minor Op 17
Piano Concerto in E Op 59
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Jerzy Maksymiuk
Hyperion / CDA 66452
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Complete Etudes
Hyperion /  CDA 67037

Buy from Amazon
Complete Etudes
Hyperion /  CDA 66607

Buy from Amazon
Complete Preludes
Hyperion / CDA 67057/8

Piano Quintet in D minor Op 25 (1887)
with the RTE Vanburgh Quartet
Hyperion / CDA67505

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Piano Transcriptions
Hyperion / CDA 66785

Richard Straus: Violin Sonata, Op. 18 (TrV 151) (1887)

Ottorino Respighi: Violin Sonata, P 110 (1917) and
from Sei pezzi, P 31 (1901-05)

/ CHAN 10749
info & review
Rannoch Moor

Chamber Music with Piano
Play Acting
Rannoch Moor
Piers Lane (piano)

PANDA / PP0205

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Works by Kreisler, Brahms, Sarasate etc.
with Tasmin Little, violin
EMI Eminence / CD EMX 2196

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Michael Collins (clarinet) - Piers Lane (piano)
Works by Weber: Grand Duo concertant - Messager: Solo de concours - Rachmaninoff: Vocalise - Gershwin: Three Preludes - Milhaud: Scaramouche - Giampieri: Il carnevale di Venezia - Lovreglio: Fantasia on La traviata - Milton: Carmen Fantasy.

British Violin Sonatas,
Volume 1
Howard Ferguson: Sonata No. 2, Op. 10 (1946) for Violin and Piano (Tasmin Little, violin, Piers Lane)
Benjamin Britten: Suite, Op. 6(1934 – 35) for Violin and Piano (Tasmin Little, violin, Piers Lane)
Sir William Walton: Sonata (1947 – 49) for Violin and Piano (Tasmin Little, violin, Piers Lane)
Chandos  /  CHAN 10770
Rhapsody for Piano & Orchestra,
Legends of Hollywood - ‘The Paradine Case’
Queensland Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Robert Mills
Varese-Sarabande /  USD 5242