Franck: Violin Sonata in A major; Fauré: Romance in B flat major, Op 28; Szymanowski: Violin Sonata in D minor, Op 9; Romance in D major, Op 23; Notturno e Tarantella, Op 28

Reviewed on Wed 26 Apr, 2017

Such dazzlingly assured, unflinchingly communicative music-making, this, vividly captured by the microphones.

César Franck's adorable Violin Sonata comes up as fresh as new paint in this urgently expressive and memorably flexible performance by Tasmin Little and Piers Lane. It's the opening item on their latest disc for Chandos and is followed by a no less sympathetic rendering of Gabriel Fauré's Romance in B flat major, a charming morsel completed in 1877. The rest of the programme is given over to three works by Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937), the most ambitious of which comprises the early (1904) D minor Violin Sonata, a big-hearted creation, like the Franck cyclical in form, and boasting an especially endearing, gorgeously songful slow movement with a deliciously playful pizzicato interlude at its heart. The soaringly lyrical Romance (1910) evinces a strong kinship with the composer's Second Symphony from the previous year, while the Notturno e Tarantella (1917) serves up an intoxicating feast of heady voluptuousness and headlong virtuosity. Such dazzlingly assured, unflinchingly communicative music-making, this, vividly captured by the microphones. Excellent news, too, that Little has already set down both of Szymanowski's glorious violin concertos with Ed Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra – a mouthwatering prospect!
–Andrew Achenbach