Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Tasmin Little, violin
Elgar: Violin Concerto, Op.61
Elgar: Interlude from The Crown of India
Tasmin Little’s recording of the Elgar’s Violin Concerto has been released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the work’s first performance. In concert Tasmin is especially associated with Elgar’s Violin Concerto: in 2007, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Edward Elgar, she performed the concerto on a major tour to Southeast Asia and Australia, and she has also performed it extensively in London – at the BBC Proms, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, and with the Philharmonia Orchestra in the Royal Festival Hall. What makes this recording especially interesting is that she has included the cadenza used in the work’s first recording, which was made in 1916 with Marie Hall. For that occasion, Elgar ‘beefed-up’ the cadenza by, amongst other things, adding harps to counter the sonic limitations of the acoustic recording process. For those used to hearing the standard version, the result makes for fascinating listening, and the recording will prove a valuable addition to the Elgar discography. The cadenza has been tracked separately as Tasmin Little has also recorded the concerto’s familiar cadenza.
The Violin Concerto is complemented by the charming Interlude, for violin and orchestra, from The Crown of India, and the rarely recorded but imposing Polonia, an inventive and colourful score using genuine polish material, which was commissioned by the Polish conductor Emil Mlynarski in 1915 and dedicated to Ignacy Jan Paderewski, the pianist-composer and, later, Prime Minister of Poland.