Collection: Partners in Time

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Albert/Bartok/Bloch,Grieg,JS Bach,Kreisler,Mozart,Tchaikovsky
LABELS: BIS
WORKS: Works for violin and piano by Kreisler, JS Bach, Mozart, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Bartók
PERFORMER: Kreisler, JS Bach, Mozart, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Bartók
CATALOGUE NO: BIS CD-1744

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As the natural follow-up to Tasmin Little’s trailblazing The Naked Violin – a free download with spoken introduction which is available from her website (www.tasminlittle.org.uk) – this is the first in a series of albums intended primarily for the classically uninitiated.

Although a collection of attractive miniatures might arguably have provided a more immediately accessible ‘way in’, given the premise of a chronologically presented main course of three prototypical sonatas, it’s hard to imagine a more appetising selection than the E major by Bach (BWV1016), the C major by Mozart (K296) and Grieg’s in G (Op. 13).

The perfect aperitif is provided by Kreisler’s glorious Pugnani pastiche, the Praeludium and Allegro, with Tchaikovsky’s introspective Mélodie and Bartók’s indelible Romanian Folk Dances rounding out the repast in style. Little and Lenehan play with captivating warmth and joie de vivre throughout, giving even Perlman and Barenboim (DG) a run for their money in the Mozart charm stakes.

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Just occasionally, as in the fourth Romanian Dance, Little’s relatively wide, medium-paced vibrato proves a mild distraction, but this is still a richly enjoyable recital that deserves every success. Julian Haylock