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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific music making., 30 April 2013
By 
Mr. Robert D. Roy (Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britten: Piano Concerto | Violin Concerto [Tasmin Little; Howard Shelley; Edward Gardner] [Chandos: CHAN 10764] (Audio CD)
In the liner notes, Tasmin Little writes about having listened a lot to Ida Haendel's classic recording with Paavo Berglund and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Had it not been written in black and white, I think it would have been obvious to those of us that love this work that Little had used the great Ida's performance as a template for her own recording. Tempi are similar and there's a no-nonsense approach which reminds us of one of the greatest performance of a violin concerto ever to be recorded! (IMHO). The sound quality that Little produces could best be described as searing, especially in the work's many passages high up the e string where intonation is (almost!) as good as the great veteran's. It's no shame for me to offer the opinion that Little comes very close to the very high bar that Haendel sets.

What makes this disc special for me is the amount of orchestral detail that's revealed, due in equal measure to the conductor, orchestra and recording. (The fortissimos are VERY loud!). Clearly, both soloist and conductor are of equal mind in their approach to the work.

Outstanding!

I have to be honest and say I don't know the piano concerto at all but, having listened to it twice now, I feel that this performance is going to be an outstanding guide to learning it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Britten's music other than opera and vocal!!, 5 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Britten: Piano Concerto | Violin Concerto [Tasmin Little; Howard Shelley; Edward Gardner] [Chandos: CHAN 10764] (Audio CD)
Britten is known mainly for his prolific operatic and vocal output.
I came to like him after listening to his great opera "Peter Grimes" and his beautiful vocal work "Les Illuminations", especially the wonderful and haunting song in it "Being Beauteous".
This CD gave me the chance to get into Britten's instrumental music world.
I believe these concertos are among the best concertos of the last century.
I loved the Violin Concerto.
My feelings for the Piano Concerto is changing in time to more positive. Due to critics' responses, Britten has replaced the third movement with a new version and this CD includes the original version as well, which allows one to compare both versions easily and it is quite interesting. I think the original version is beautiful as well and I wonder why he replaced it.
I recommend this CD to music lovers who like to get deeper in search of knowing the composer himself as well.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Piano Concerto, 16 Feb 2014
By 
enthusiast "enthusiast" (sussex, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britten: Piano Concerto | Violin Concerto [Tasmin Little; Howard Shelley; Edward Gardner] [Chandos: CHAN 10764] (Audio CD)
I really like Shelley's account of the Britten Piano Concerto. It has a robustness that I feel is needed in this music, music that can all too easily sound like so much froth (as it tends to with, say, Andsnes in his live recording). But Shelley still finds the brightness and good humour of the work. Gardiner is a natural Britten conductor and is a real asset. This is a performance I have been playing often. The alternative (original slow movement is an interesting bonus.

In the Violin Concerto, Tasmin Little starts off at quite a pace and her account is full of thrills. But she doesn't scale the heights that Frank Peter Zimmermann or (even better!) Daniel Hope do in their recordings! Little's is a good performance for all that.
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