BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Award

Tasmin Little


British Violin Sonatas, Vol. 3

Tasmin Little (violin), Piers Lane (piano) Chandos CHAN 20133

Tasmin Little’s Chamber Award marks the final flourish in a remarkable career spanning over 33 years. No more concerts, no more recordings. Little has left the building.

Tucked at the end of her third and final volume of British works for violin and piano is a short piece by Eric Coates. ‘We were going to end this recording with something different, but Piers [her pianist Piers Lane] unearthed this gorgeous little piece at the bottom of a drawer somewhere,’ reveals

Little. ‘We decided that it would be a lovely way to finish, as it’s called First Meeting, and Piers and I remember our own first meeting which was on my 21st birthday when I went to a concert he was giving. It felt like the perfect way to say goodbye.’

The Little-piers duo has been one of the finest on record, their collaborat­ion producing recordings of Brahms, Respighi and Strauss, Schubert and more to great acclaim. British Violin Sonatas Vol. 3 is up there with their best – a collection of works that, if there were any justice, would be firm fixtures on the concert platform. York Bowen’s Sonata in E minor is the bighitter here, a wide-ranging piece that veers from traditiona­l Romantic to Parisian café and the music of Spain, ‘and really weird and wonderful stuff that makes you feel like you might have been smoking something!’ laughs Little. Joining the Bowen is Ireland’s dark, mysterious Sonata No. 2, Alwyn’s Sonatina and The Hart’s Grace, a brand new piece by composer James Frances Brown written for Little.

2020 was supposed to be the year that Little traversed the world on a tour to mark her retirement from the concert stage. COVID-19 bashed that idea on the head. ‘It’s just so meaningful for me to win this award, given what happened this year,’ she adds. ‘It’s made a lot of things about last year feel a lot more right.’

 ??  ?? Final hurrah:
‘It’s so meaningful for me to win this award’
Final hurrah: ‘It’s so meaningful for me to win this award’
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