TL: When I plan a programme, I try to think about how an audience will feel when they sit down and what the first thing they would like to listen to might be! I always think it’s important to find a good mixture of works that are more immediately accessible and works which require more concentration and even emotional commitment for the audience. I think that audiences go to concerts to be moved, entertained and sometimes challenged - so, depending on where I’m playing and the kind of audience that the venue attracts, I’ll bear that in mind. I think it’s important to start with the opening piece and also think how to finish the evening. If there’s a very substantial work, I often put it just before the interval to allow the audience a breather afterwards (and me…).
JD: Why do you think British repertoire such as Bridge and Bliss is still relatively neglected? What appeals to you about their music?
TL: I think it’s simply that these works aren’t generally known to the wider public and so there’s less call for them - the Bridge, for instance, is an early work that has youthful vigour but is not perhaps representative of his mature style. And the Bliss sonata has only recently been reconstructed - so even I didn’t know it a couple of years ago! But this music is so engaging and I love the range of nuances that both composers demand; it is also satisfying to bring a neglected work to life and then to have a good response from an audience who have enjoyed something new.
JD: You and Piers have been playing together pretty much forever…what makes a good duo?
photo: Keith Saunders
JD: What’s it like to perform at the Wigmore Hall?
TL: The Wigmore Hall is such a glorious acoustic to perform in... the sound is so good that you can play as quietly as you like and know that every member of the audience will be able to hear you. So it’s an intimate hall but with a great deal of presence to it. I love walking on that stage and thinking of all the great musicians that have sung and played there over the years - it’s very inspiring.
JD: Have you got any new recordings out?
TL: The most recent release is of both Szymanowski concerti and the Karłowicz concerto that I recorded with Ed Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. I love the Szymanowskis - they are so different from each other, the first one slightly mystical and other-worldly, and the second one completely sensual and down to earth, even rustic! The Karłowicz provides a beautiful foil for both works as it is a much more traditional concerto which is very easy to listen to and enjoy…
JD: Other highlights for you this season?
TL: I’m excited to be going to play in Dubai with Piers in November and I’ll be playing the Britten concerto in Portugal in December. Next year I have two super trips to Australia, where I’ll be playing in Sydney and Melbourne among other places, and I’m also off to play Mozart in Spain. In between times and nearer to home, I’ll be up and down the UK for concertos and recitals and am particularly looking forward to playing with the CBSO doing Bernstein’s Serenade for violin and orchestra.
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