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Tasmin Little Plays Clara Schumann, Dame Ethel Smyth & Amy Beach / Lenehan


Release Date: 02/01/2019 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 20030  
Composer:  Amy Marcy BeachClara Wieck SchumannSmyth, Ethel, Dame
Performer:  Tasmin LittleJohn Lenehan
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Renowned violinist Tasmin Little returns to Chandos with a line-up of three women composers whose lives share some features but also significant differences that illustrate the complex lives of female musicians. Clara Schumann, Dame Ethel Smyth and Amy Beach all came from families that encouraged their musical interests but balked, in varying degrees, at professional training and engagement. All three composers draw on the influence of Robert Schumann and Brahms; Beach and Smyth in particular were fond of metrical and motivic manipulation.Tasmin Little plays this music close to her heart with her usual warmth and dexterity. The manuscript to Clara Schumann’s final chamber work Three Romances states ‘for piano and violin’, an ordering Read more reflected in the relative complexity of the parts, the florid passagework here played beautifully by long-term collaborator with Little, John Lenehan. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor, Op. 34 by Amy Marcy Beach
Performer:  Tasmin Little (Violin), John Lenehan (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; USA 
2.
Romances (3) for Violin and Piano, Op. 22 by Clara Wieck Schumann
Performer:  Tasmin Little (Violin), John Lenehan (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
3.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor, Op. 7 by Smyth, Ethel, Dame
Performer:  Tasmin Little (Violin), John Lenehan (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; England 
4.
Romance for Violin and Piano, Op. 23 by Amy Marcy Beach
Performer:  Tasmin Little (Violin), John Lenehan (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1893; USA 
5.
Invocation for Violin and Piano, Op. 55 by Amy Marcy Beach
Performer:  Tasmin Little (Violin), John Lenehan (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; USA 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 The indomitability of the human spirit February 15, 2019 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "Tasmin Little brings her considerable technique and star power to the music of three women she admires a great deal, both as musicians and as human beings. If there's a theme for this disc, it's the indomitability of the human spirit in the face of systematic adversity and personal tragedy. This new disc helps to underline the rapidly rising reputations of both Clara Schumann and Amy Beach, and I hope it helps along a similar move to bring to the fore the music of Ethel Smyth. Ethel Smyth's Violin Sonata, op. 7, is as full of character and spunk as its composer. Every new idea is more interesting than the one before, and it's all put together with technical skill and imagination. This piece, like the rest of the disc but to perhaps a higher degree, benefits from Little and Lenehan's strong advocacy. All their work was worth it, I think. The three Romanzen, op. 22, of Clara Schumann, are the same kind of character pieces that she and her husband Robert pretty much invented for solo piano. These are indeed romantic, soulful and melodic. The most substantial, and the strongest, piece on the disc is the op. 34 Violin Sonata by Amy Beach. In her book Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian, Adrienne Fried Boch tells the story of violinist Eugène Ysaÿe and pianist Raoul Pugno coming across a violin sonata by "H. A. Beach", recognizing its quality, and putting it into their repertoire, not realizing it was by an American, or a woman. This is a strong, passionate performance, adding lustre to one of the greatest of American chamber works. Beach's Romance, op. 23, was written for the great American violin virtuoso Maud Powell; it's very much of its time (the 1890s), but no less lovely for that. The Invocation, op. 55, is from the new Century, but it's also beautifully melodic, and a beautiful ending for this thoughtfully designed programme. In Little's recent violin sonata discs her partner was the excellent Piers Lane. This time around the pianist is John Lenehan, who provides strong support, though much of this repertoire is very much violin-focussed. We'll see if these two can eventually build the same close relationship that came to a peak in last year's Little-Lane disc of Brahms Violin Sonatas, a triumph of musical synergy. This morning brings the news that Tasmin Little will be retiring from the concert stage. We wish her all the success in the world in all the great things she's planning for the future!" Report Abuse
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