Tasmin Little: Why I love The Lark Ascending

7 May 2015, 11:06 | Updated: 20 January 2020, 14:59

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.” 



Posted by Lizzie Davis on Wednesday, 6 May 2015



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…



Posted by Lizzie Davis on Wednesday, 6 May 2015



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?

“I think this piece has stood the test of time because human beings have a spirituality within us,” says Tasmin, “and this piece allows people to have those moments to themselves.”


Posted by Lizzie Davis on Wednesday, 6 May 2015



Why do you still enjoy performing it time and time again?

Tasmin says she loves playing the piece “because there's something in the piece that takes me – and the audience – to a very special place, a place of reflection. ”


Posted by Lizzie Davis on Wednesday, 6 May 2015



Hear Tasmin perform 'The Lark Ascending' with the Orquesta Filarmónica de México UNAM this July in Cambridge (5 July), Guildford (7 July), Basingstoke (8 July) and London (9 July).