Review by Chris Swain:

Painswick Music Society Concert: Tasmin Little at St Mary's Church

TASMIN Little, returning like an old friend for her fourth visit at St Mary's Church in Painswick, delighted a capacity audience in the first of Painswick Music Society’s series of concerts for the Spring of 2017.

In her lively and humorous introductions to the music, one was immediately aware of the passionate communicator who launched the project, The Naked Violinist, a free CD download designed to break down barriers to classical music.

Accompanied by the pianist, John Lenehan, Tasmin treated us to a breathtaking display of impassioned violin playing, her rich tonal palette wonderfully evoking the varied moods of the music.

The term, ‘Accompanist’, would hardly do justice to John Lenehan’s part in the recital.

In both Schubert’s Rondo Brillante and Franck’s Sonata, he displayed prodigious technical skill, negotiating with ease the rapid and complicated passage work. The concert was very much a duo performance by two highly accomplished musicians.

The deep rapport between violinist and pianist inspired performances in which the musical ideas were beautifully integrated. This was especially apparent in the soul-searching of John Ireland’s little-known, First Sonata and in the ravishing intimacy of Fauré’s Romance.

In the Frere Jacques style, canonical finale of the Franck Sonata, the lovely theme was tossed between violinist and pianist with passion steadily building to an exhilarating ending.

Finally, amid rapturous applause, the two performers separately wended their way around the isles of the church, acknowledging rapturous applause.

Dragged back by the audience for an encore, the duo let their hair down with a virtuoso rendering of Vittorio Monti’s thrilling Czärdäs, a wildly emotional ziguenertänz which brought the house down.