Fauré, Lekeu & Ravel: Violin Sonatas Tasmin Little

Cover Fauré, Lekeu & Ravel: Violin Sonatas

Album info



Label: Chandos

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Guillaume Lekeu (1870 - 1894): Violin Sonata in G Major:
  • 1Violin Sonata in G Major: I. Très modéré - Vif et passioné11:42
  • 2Violin Sonata in G Major: II. Très lent10:28
  • 3Violin Sonata in G Major: III. Très animé10:18
  • Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937): Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Minor, M. 12:
  • 4Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Minor, M. 1214:23
  • Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924): Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13:
  • 5Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13: I. Allegro molto08:45
  • 6Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13: II. Andante07:36
  • 7Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13: III. Allegro vivo04:12
  • 8Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13: IV. Allegro quasi presto05:27
  • Total Runtime01:12:51

Info for Fauré, Lekeu & Ravel: Violin Sonatas

Chandos artist Tasmin Little explores three great French violin sonatas, after a much revered recording of British violin sonatas in 2013. She and pianist Martin Roscoe have enjoyed a long-standing chamber music partnership. On this album they immerse themselves in music of three of the best late-nineteenth-century French composers: Gabriel Fauré, Guillaume Lekeu, and Maurice Ravel.

Written in 1875, shortly after his thirtieth birthday, the Sonata in A major by Gabriel Fauré has often been regarded as his first masterpiece. And despite having faced a daunting reception, it has become a reference in the romantic repertoire. The first two movements, serious and solemn, are followed by light-footed, airy movements, the final Allegro drawing energy from Fauré’s favourite off-beat chordal accompaniment.

As the last arrival in the ‘Bande à Franck’, Guillaume Lekeu, in his twenty-four-year-long life, wrote some fifty pieces of ‘tremulous emotion’, of which the Violin Sonata, of 1892 – 93, is by far the best known.

The opening movement of an unfinished early violin sonata by Ravel was not published until 1975, his centenary year, and the first known modern performance took place that year in New York. The movement convincingly unites different styles, from Fauré’s in the modal opening to Franckian chords in the development passage that leads back to the tune over chromatically descending triads à la Debussy, not to mention a second theme, over pulsing quavers, that clearly belongs to the Gounod / Massenet tradition.

"This is a typically well-constructed and enticing recital from Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe. Guillaume Lekeu is one of the ‘what ifs’ of French music. A disciple of Franck, his own voice was beginning to emerge when he died at the age of 24 from typhoid in 1894. The unrealised promise is clear in what is probably his best-known work, the G major Violin Sonata. The impassioned outer movements understandably evoke the spirit of Franck’s golden period, Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe masterfully pacing the ebb and flow of the tension. Nonetheless, there is little precedent for the long-breathed unfolding line of the slow movement, and Little’s whispered treatment of the end is magical.

Little displays similar control in the Scherzo of Fauré’s A major Sonata, the music seemingly evaporating into the ether at the end of the central section. In an absolutely ideal world, Little would be more ready to indulge in portamento in the other movements, but that quibble applies to most modern performances and this is a thoroughly compelling account.

Ravel began his first sonata at the same age as Lekeu wrote his, but left it incomplete after composing just a single movement in which his musical personality is already strongly delineated. Little and Roscoe ensure the gentle rhythmic restlessness flows naturally and are surefooted in the switches between cool reflection and warmly Romantic outpourings." (Christopher Dingle)

Tasmin Little, violin
Martin Roscoe, piano

Tasmin Little
Tasmin has played with many of the world's greatest orchestras in a career that has taken her to every continent of the world. In addition to her regular solo performances, she has play/directed orchestras such as Royal Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, London Mozart Players, English Chamber Orchestra, Norwegian Chamber, European Union Chamber Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia. In 2007/08 she joined the London Mozart Players as soloist and director in a tour of the UK which also featured her UK conducting debut.

As a concerto player, Tasmin's performances in the 2010/11 season took her twice back to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam where she performed violin concerti by Loevendie and Prokofiev. Other performances in 2010/11 include concerts in Australia, New Zealand and Slovenia, London’s South Bank Centre as well as a Festival at Kings Place, London, entitled 'Tasmin Little and Friends: Violin Journeys'.

In 2008, Tasmin made her sixteenth appearance at the BBC Promenade Concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, London, in a performance of the Concerto for Violin and Horn by Dame Ethyl Smyth. She continues to champion seldom-performed repertoire, and has received critical acclaim as one of the few violinists to have mastered Ligeti's challenging violin concerto. Her 2003 tour with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, during which she performed the concerto at the Proms, Berlin Philharmonie, the Salzburg Festival, New York's Carnegie Hall and Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, received unanimous critical acclaim ('the technical command was glorious' The Guardian; 'very beautiful' Berliner Morgenpost; 'a major violin talent' Philadelphia Inquirer; 'a formidable soloist' New York Times). In 2007 she returned to the work with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.

In 2006, Tasmin was Artistic Director of her hugely successful 'Delius Inspired' Festival, which was broadcast for an entire week on BBC Radio 3 in July. An exciting range of events, ranging from orchestral concerts and chamber music to films and exhibitions, also reached 800 school children in an ambitious programme designed to widen interest in classical music for young people. She was Artistic Director of Spring Sounds Festival from 2008 until 2010.

Her discography reflects her wide-ranging repertoire and includes twenty-five recordings, ranging from Bruch and Brahms to Karlowicz and Arvo Pärt. In March 2009 she released the disc 'Partners in Time', her follow-up to The Naked Violin, and in Autumn 2010 her long-awaited recording of the Elgar violin concerto was released on the Chandos label to unanimous critical acclaim. The recording celebrated the 100th anniversary of the concerto’s premiere and included a re-creation of a special version of the accompanied cadenza.

Tasmin is an Ambassador for The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts, is a Fellow of the Guildhall of Music and Drama, is President of ESTA (European String Teachers Association), an Ambassador for Youth Music, and has received Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Bradford, Leicester, Hertfordshire and City of London. In 2009, she received a prestigious Gold Badge Award for services to music.

She plays a 1757 Guadagnini violin and has, on kind loan from the Royal Academy of Music, the 'Regent' Stradivarius of 1708.

Booklet for Fauré, Lekeu & Ravel: Violin Sonatas

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