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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67389
Recording details: September 2003
Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland
Produced by Nicholas Parker
Engineered by Mike Hatch
Release date: April 2004
Total duration: 11 minutes 25 seconds

'Tasmin Little's idiomatic advocacy of all three works belies the fact that none could be described as standard repertoire … handsomely produced and well recorded, this issue makes three very welcome additions to the repertoire' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Tasmin Little's flamboyant performance of this breathtaking display piece should be counted a jewel in her already distinguished discography' (International Record Review)

'This disc is yet another jewel in Hyperion's star-studded crown … enjoyable from start to finish—a disc well worth having' (The Strad)

'One of my discs of the year' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Tasmin Little displays an invitingly warm, slender tone and broad dynamic range, very much in keeping with the style of this music. Her intonation and bowing are impeccable: the considerable difficulties of Moszkowski's finale hold no terrors for her' (Fanfare, USA)

'This disc is the most impressive installment in Hyperion's Romantic Concerto Series; superb and most beautifully recorded and played' (MusicWeb International)

Ballade in G minor, Op 16 No 1
composer
early 1870s

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Ballade in G minor for violin and orchestra Op 16 No 1 was originally composed for violin and piano during the early 1870s (it was published with a companion piece, a Bolero Op 16 No 2). Subsequently Moszkowski orchestrated the Ballade (but not the Bolero), and as such it would appear to be his earliest surviving orchestral work (the famous Spanish Dances Op 12 appeared earlier, but were in fact orchestrated by Philipp Scharwenka and Valentin Frank, the original version being for piano duet). The Ballade was dedicated to Gustav Hille (born 1851), a German violinist and minor composer who was one of Moszkowski’s fellow students at Kullak’s Academy, and although intended as a virtuoso display vehicle it also reflects Moszkowski’s natural gift for melody.

The opening is marked Andante con moto, and the orchestra sets the scene with a brief introduction before accompanying the soloist who enters with a lilting theme, the basic rhythmic make-up of which is used extensively throughout. A short quasi-cadenza then leads directly into the second part—Tempo animato (quasi allegro)—where the tension is gradually built up with increasing momentum as the work heads towards its main fortissimo climax. The short coda then fades away to a molto tranquillo conclusion. It is interesting to note that there are several differences from the original violin and piano version, where Moszkowski had written a completely different bravura ending, perhaps more suitable for the salon work as it was originally conceived. Later editions show that he had second thoughts about this, bringing the piano reduction into line with the orchestral score. Overall, the Ballade is typical of Moszkowski’s affable and eclectic style, and although it is to some extent limited in its emotional range it provides more than enough interest and enjoyment for the listener with its contrasts in texture and colourful orchestration.

from notes by Martin Eastick © 2004

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