2018 Reviews

Recital by Tasmin Little with pianist Piers Lane

Sunday, October 20, 2018 - UKARIA Cultural Centre, Mt Barker Summit, South Australia, 5251

Guiding heads and hands never lost control

ALONGSIDE their international solo careers, Tasmin Little and Piers Lane have a considerable following as a violin and piano duo through concerts and recordings together. Consequently many in UKARIA’s audience were excited at the intriguing prospect of hearing how these artists would sound in Adelaide’s best new chamber music venue.

We were not disappointed.

Their long acquaintance and mutual empathy ensured the entire program was beautifully finessed while still transcending boundaries to get at the emotional heart of their music.
The evening was book ended by two of the repertoire’s most substantial compositions, Karol Szymanowski’s big-scale but early Sonata Op. 9 in D minor and César Franck’s much loved Sonata in A.

To their credit both performers ensured that it was all about the music despite their high-octane techniques and personalities tending to rivet listeners’ attention.

The Szymanowski’s explosive, brooding 1st movement, lyrical 2nd movement and incredibly volcanic final movement, were brought to order in an intensely focused interpretation that lost none of its excitement by maintaining its equilibrium.

Likewise, the Franck gained immense clarity and balance, elements often missing, through a wonderfully energised, richly textured interpretation that nevertheless seemed light enough to float to UKARIA’s elegant ceiling.

Occasionally hair did get let down, as in Elena Kats-Chernin’s outrageously schmaltzy Russian Rag Revisited, but Little’s and Lane’s guiding heads and hands never lost control and our enjoyment was all the greater for it.

Rodney Smith, The Advertiser
CBSO/Ludovic Morlot – Dumbarton Oaks & Prokofiev 5
Tasmin Little plays Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade

Thursday, May 24, 2018 Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England

... Time was when Bernstein’s Serenade (1954) was a rarity, though what is arguably its composer’s most successful piece for the concert hall had come into its own well before the onset of this year’s centenary celebrations. This sequence of movements inspired by (while not indebted to) Plato’s consideration of love in his Symposium was a gift which Bernstein seized with alacrity, condensing its seven eulogies into five movements amounting to the varied, if cohesive, totality that he aspired to without equalling in the concert works of his later years.

Tasmin Little entered fully into its spirit, segueing nimbly from the lyricism of ‘Phaedrus’ into the incisiveness of ‘Pausanias’ then underlining the whimsical irony in ‘Aristophanes’. Fugal fussiness in ‘Eryximachus’ was pertly done and the heightened eloquence of ‘Agathon’ never unduly emotive, before the Finale attained a unity in the rumination of ‘Socrates’ as overtaken by the jazzy ebullience of ‘Alcibiades’. Morlot secured an engaging response from the CBSO strings; also keeping Bernstein’s over-effusive percussion writing within well-defined limits....

Richard Whitehouse, Classcial Source
Edward Elgar - Violin Concerto
Ulster Orchestra / Jac van Steen
Ulster Hall, Belfast, N.Ireland
Friday, 13 April 2018

Stamina and skill

The second half belonged to international violinist Tasmin Little, a visitor here during the darkest days of the Troubles and who is still a great favourite with the Ulster Orchestra and local audiences.

She performed superbly Elgar's lengthy Violin Concerto, a musical tour de force which requires enormous technical skill and stamina, not only from the soloist but also the from conductor and the orchestra, who combined almost flawlessly to give an inspiring account of this masterpiece.

There was enthusiastic and sustained applause at the end.