2014 Reviews
Tasmin Little and pianist Martin Roscoe
Wiltshire Music Centre
10 October 2014
Tasmin Little (violin) and Martin Roscoe (piano) at Wiltshire Music Centre

Neither Tasmin Little (violin) or Martin Roscoe (piano) accompany; both are soloists: And it works.

It is the essential element that makes this partnership - it’s been there for more than 25 years - so special.

And to play with such sheer beauty and aplomb Beethoven’s Violin Sonata in A, Op 47, the Kreutzer (named after the great French violinist), was an utter gem.

It is one of Beethoven’s most difficult - and brilliant - sonatas yet the thought and care that went into its performance belied the complexity. It was 35 minutes of utter brilliance; and delight.

Violin and piano combine with dazzling effect and while each have their solo work it was never at the exclusion of the other.

Roscoe, a much loved solo performer in his own right, was the foil and the spear when needed; and Miss Little’s dynamic, thrusting interpretation was so artistically woven into a web of consumate musicality.

You could feel the release of intense emotion from the audience at the end of the first Adagio movement; the silence spoke volumes: No one coughed, no one moved.

Yet another absorbing programme in what is becoming an artistically beguiling season for the Centre. Either of the two other works, Schubert’s Sonatina in D Minor and the “Spring” violin sonata, by Beethoven, could have headlined any evening. And there are more delights on the way.

And, after all this excellence, no bouquets. One wonders why...

Reg Burnard, November 3rd 2014, Gazette and Herald
Tasmin Little plays Moeran Violin Concerto
BBC Philharmonic / Juanjo Mena
Royal Albert Hall, London
25 July 2014

Prom 10: Intimacy on a large scale
"This performance of Moeran’s Concerto was something of a revelation. Rarely performed and recorded, it ­benefited from this considered and sympathetic performance by the BBC Philharmonic and violinist Tasmin Little. They never forced the music into places that it did not want to go, but treated it lovingly and carefully. Little was unafraid of taking her time in solo passages, ensuring that she extracted all the feeling from each note. Her intense concentration meant it did not matter that the Albert Hall was not entirely filled with sound, since Little was utterly engaging. Astonishingly, Little and the BBC Philharmonic had achieved the impossible: they had turned the Albert Hall into an intimate space."

more ...

Hazel Rowland, July 26th 2014, Bachtrack

Tasmin Little plays Moeran Violin Concerto
BBC Philharmonic / Juanjo Mena
Lichfield Cathedral
12 July 2014

"Tasmin Little was the soloist in Moeran’s Violin Concerto, and her sound, as ever, was a thing of wonder: her poise, her shamelessly luscious vibrato and the iridescent sheen of her tone making you imagine how Heifetz might have played this beautiful, under-rated work.

Mena responded not with understatement (how much great British music are we missing when we thoughtlessly dismiss it as “pastoral”?), but with red-blooded passion and a lively sense of colour. .

Richard Bratby July 16th 2014 Birmingham Post
Tasmin Little plays Ligeti Violin Concerto
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Rossen Gergov,
City Halls, Glasgow
21 March 2014

"We'd also had a mesmerising performance from the great Tasmin Little of Ligeti's tough and challenging Violin Concerto, whose rustling, buzzing and swarming pages bemused and baffled many listeners (who made a point of telling me); I enjoyed it, and thrilled at the moments of raw, naked Hungarian folk music that periodically poked through the busy texture."

Michael Tumelty, March 24th 2014, Herald Scotland

"...And with soloist Tasmin Little, in Ligeti’s translucent Violin Concerto, his sensitive control of its beguiling textures – the eerie wailing of the ocarinas, or the unnerving string clusters that surround the solo violin like an intricate gossamer web – was needle-sharp and compelling, backed up by Little’s immaculate, filigree interpretation."

Ken Walton , March 24th 2014, Scotsman

Tasmin Little, Martin Roscoe (piano)
Crucible Studio, Sheffield
29 January 2014

I can't imagine a more rousing start to a violin recital than Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe powering through Brahms's youthfully exuberant single movement Sonatensatz.

It was a reassuring start, too. I immediately liked Little's full-bodied sound, massively energetic and a little gritty as the Brahms demanded, but focused, not strident. Then later in the movement her quiet sound proved equally engaging, with a tender fragility.

Meanwhile, Roscoe took no prisoners with the first theme's pounding, driving chords, then withdrew allowing Little's delicate sound to glimmer in the slower sections. With the colourful works elsewhere in the programme, Beethoven's sonatas Op 12 No 2 and 3 were shown up as completely vanilla. No 3 was at least full of virtuosity, which the pair handled with remarkable ease – a crowd-pleaser for largely acrobatic reasons.

Conversely, the duo revealed hidden depths in Schubert's rarely performed Sonata in A minor, an understated piece with a melancholy, slightly abrupt ending, perhaps asking the question to which the Franck is the answer.

Champions of the Franck sonata are correct, it's a wonderful piece, and Little's affinity with it was apparent in this affectionate reading. When the third movement settled on its closing melody, it found a peace and tranquillity that utterly clarified the sonata's romantic programme.

Martin Roscoe convincingly spent the whole evening in the role of second soloist rather than accompanist, thanks to the choice of repertoire and his fine instinct for when to play with a bit of portent.

Ensemble problems were few and far between and the balance was largely impressive, especially since Little projects at all dynamic levels without resorting to wide vibrato. Both players were committed to great musical dialogue throughout and the delightful close canons in the Franck's finale seemed a fitting culmination.

January 30th 2014 - Classical Sheffield - Tom Owen