Discover the genius who changed classical music forever.
Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece has topped our annual Classic FM Hall of Fame six times in total – so it’s clearly a favourite of yours. But it’s also much-cherished by today’s greatest violinists, and we’ve asked one of them to tell us why.
Tasmin Little has been performing Ralph Vaughan Williams's great pastoral work throughout her career.
How does it feel to perform that first heart-stoppingly beautiful violin entry?
“It's unlike playing the opening of any other piece,” says Tasmin, “in The Lark Ascending you feel like you're floating above a cushion of sound.”
Can you remember the first time you performed this iconic piece?
“ It was in Salisbury Cathedral in a candlelit concert – can you imagine anything more beautiful?” No, no we can't Tasmin. Excuse us while we daydream…
Can you pick out one of your favourite moments in the piece?
“One of the most beautiful bits of writing that Vaughan Williams gives the violin is what I called ‘the swooping theme, ’” says Tasmin – and it goes like this:
Posted by Kyle Macdonald on Wednesday, 6 May 2015
And what's it like to play those soaring melodies over a full orchestra?
We asked Tasmin to try and put it into words for us…
Posted by Kyle Macdonald on Thursday, 7 May 2015
What is it about this piece, do you think, that has made it such a favourite?
Why do you still enjoy performing it time and time again?