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CHAN 9888
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CHAN 9888

Finzi: Violin Concerto

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2001

Recorded in 24 Bit / 44.1Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 1999


City of London Sinfonia

Richard Hickox

John Mark Ainsley


Tasmin Little



The Colosseum, Watford


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Richard Smoker

(Assistant: tracks 1-5)

Jonathan Cooper

(Assistant: tracks 6-11)

Record Label



Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 54:08
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Please Note: On Mp3 format an unavoidable click may be heard on segue track breaks, to avoid this issue please select lossless or better


Select Complete Single Disc for

In Years Defaced*

  Six songs by Gerald Finzi, arranged for voice and orchestra by the composer, Judith Weir, Anthony Payne, Colin Matthews, Christian Alexander and Jeremy Dale Roberts  
  premiere recording in this version  
1 1 To a Poet a Thousand Years Hence 5:58
  orchestrated by Colin Matthews (b. 1946)  
2 2 When I Set Out for Lyonnesse 2:10
  orchestrated by Gerald Finzi  
  G minor (transposed)  
  premiere recording in this version  
3 3 In Years Defaced 3:28
  orchestrated by Jeremy Dale Roberts (b. 1934)  
  D minor (original key)  
  premiere recording in this version  
4 4 Tall Nettles 2:58
  orchestrated by Christian Alexander (b. 1964)  
  F major (original key)  
  premiere recording in this version  
5 5 At a Lunar Eclipsse 3:39
  orchestrated by Judith Weir (b. 1954)  
  D major (original key)  
  premiere recording in this version  
6 6 Proud Songsters 3:14
  orchestrated by Anthony Payne (b. 1936)  
  D minor (transposed)  

Prelude, Op. 25

  for string orchestra  
  Adagio espressivo - Poco più mosso - Tempo primo  

Romance, Op. 11

  for string orchestra  
  Andante espressivo - Più mosso - Tempo primo  
premiere recording

Concerto for Small Orchestra and Solo Violin†

9 I Allegro 6:14
10 II Molto sereno 10:06
11 III Hornpipe Rondo: Allegro risoluto 3:38
Tasmin Little is the soloist in a premiere recording of Finzi.

This exciting release features the premiere recording of Finzi’s Concerto for Small Orchestra and Violin, performed here by the talented soloist Tasmin Little who is well known for her performances of British Music.

The disc features a varied selection of works including a further five premiere recordings of these versions of Finzi’s songs, with soloist John Mark Ainsley.

We are delighted to release this second disc featuring Tasmin Little who is regarded as one of the world’s leading violinists and has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras and conductors. The first disc (CHAN 9595), released in May 1998, featured works by William Lloyd Webber and met with a fantastic response.

The highly respected soloists on this recording are accompanied by the City of London Sinfonia conducted by Richard Hickox.

Finzi wrote his Concerto for Small Orchestra and Solo Violin, his earliest extended instrumental work, in 1925-7. It was written for Sybil Eaton, a young violinist with whom he had fallen ineffectually in love, and she performed its second and third movements in Queen’s Hall, London on 4 May 1927. Finzi was unhappy with the first movement and had already discarded it. His second attempt at a first movement was responsible for the concerto’s mixed reception when conducted by Vaughan Williams and Finzi subsequently published just the slow movement as the Introit in 1935, thus sealing the fate of the concerto. Very much of its period, the Violin Concerto’s English amalgam of folksong pastoral and Bach constitutes an ‘arts and crafts’ ploy countering Stravinskyan neo-baroque with a vernacular version.

The Prelude and Romance date from 1929 and 1928 respectively and it would seem that both were originally intended as part of larger works.

Most of Finzi’s song collections were written for voice and piano, though, as in ‘When I set out from Lyoness’, he clearly responded vividly when given the opportunity to work in a more colourful medium. The orchestration of a number of Finzi’s songs could have proven difficult, particularly the selection of a coherent group and the fact that the piano accompaniments, often restricted in range and austerely contrapuntal, do not always lend themselves to orchestration. Most of the songs were written in the thirties, a time of Finzi’s early maturity, although only two were published in his lifetime. ‘Tall Nettles’, his only setting of Edward Thomas, was written when he was only nineteen and the manuscript, in open score, unmistakably suggests an orchestral texture, prefiguring in its harmonic layers and flickering arabesques the fleeting shadows of Vaughan Williams’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony.

‘…John Mark Ainsley brings an exquisite darkness to these persuasive readings… [Tasmin] Little could not be a more committed, yet gentle soloist: this is absolutely her repertoire’.
BBC Music Magazine

Little and Ainsley are at their best in this enterprising anthology for Finzi’s centenary.
Gramophone Editor's Choice

‘…the violinist, Tasmin Little, provides a sweetly lyrical account…’
Fanfare on CHAN 9595 (Lloyd Webber)

‘…this is an outstanding issue. The performances are lovingly conducted, well sung, and beautifully played.’
American Record Guide on CHAN 8997 (Finzi)

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