The Stradgrass Sessions – Tessa Lark, violin + friends

£12.00 + P&P

This album is a snapshot of the way I live in music; diversely, organically, intimately, sometimes collaboratively, sometimes solitarily, always sincerely – and anywhere, be it a concert hall or home studio.” (Tessa Lark)

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Gramophone 'Critics' Choice'
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The Stradgrass Sessions
Released: 5 May 2023

Tessa Lark violin
Jon Batiste
Michael Cleveland fiddle
Sierra Hull mandolin
Edgar Meyer double bass

Tessa LARK (b. 1989)
1. Jig and Pop *

Sierra HULL (b. 1999)
2. Chasin’ Skies (2011)
Sierra Hull mandolin

Tessa LARK
3. Le Soka – Cheese in the Wine *

Edgar MEYER (b. 1960)
Concert Duo for Violin and Bass (1999)
4. Mvt I
5. Mvt IV (Finale)
Edgar Meyer double bass

Eugène YSAŸE (1858–1931)
Violin Sonata No. 5 in G major, Op. 2 (1923)
6. I. LʼAurore
7. II. Danse rustique

Michael CLEVELAND (b. 1980)
8. Lazy Katie (2019)
Michael Cleveland fiddle

John CORIGLIANO (b. 1938)
9. STOMP (2010) *

Tessa LARK
10. Hysedelje *

Bela BARTÓK (1881–1945)
(arr. Hull and Lark)
44 Duets for Two Violins, Sz. 98 (1931)
11. Book III: No. 35: Rutén Kolomejka (Ruthenian Kolomejka)
12. Book IV: No. 39 Szerb Tánc (Serbian Dance)
13. Book IV: No. 43 Pizzicato
Sierra Hull mandolin

Stephen FOSTER (1826–1864)
(arr. Batiste and Lark)
14. Meditation on My Old Kentucky Home (?1852)
Jon Batiste piano

Première recording *

Produced and engineered by Silas Brown and Michael Thurber
Edited by Silas Brown, Tessa Lark and Michael Thurber
Mixed and mastered by Silas Brown
24bit high resolution recording, editing and mastering

Press Quotes

‘… the moniker splendidly evokes the uncommon alchemy running though the album… The Stradgrass Sessions is a rare gem.’ (Songlines Magazine)

‘She [Lark] more than holds her own across the album. Her sound is bright, with no-nonsense attack and clarity of note. Sparing vibrato, combined with a gorgeously harmonic approach towards intonation, makes for a wonderful warmth on her Maggini of c1600’ (Gramophone Magazine) (Gramophone ‘Critics’ Choice’)

‘Lark’s ability to blend with a variety of partners is at its strongest in Cleveland’s Lazy Katie, where his fiddle and her Strad combine in purpose and texture. And the final improvisation with Jon Batiste on Foster’s My Old Kentucky Home is wistful and charming.’ (٭٭٭٭ / ٭٭٭٭٭ BBC Music Magazine )

‘She is clearly enjoying herself throughout this album… she does it very well’ (BBC Radio 3, ‘Record Review’)

‘Unforgettable!’ (classical Explorer)

‘Another fabulous showcase of violinist Tessa Lark’s diverse talents, with energy, virtuosity, joy and intimacy’ (Classical Notes)


Listen to Tessa Lark Stradgrass Sessions interview on

Born and raised in Kentucky, violinist Tessa Lark traces her earliest musical influences to bluegrass, Appalachian and other American folk styles, which have subsequently inspired her classical training, career and recital programming. The Stradgrass Sessions is an authentically personal project that explores the violin’s stylistic capabilities through a classical lens with a ‘picking circle’ of some of America’s most distinguished multi-genre composer/musicians around today – jazz pianist Jon Batiste, bassist Edgar Meyer, fiddler Michael Cleveland and mandolinist Sierra Hull. The Stradgrass Sessions also features the premiere recording of a work by American composer John Corigliano.

The inspired term ‘Stradgrass’ came about in 2015 when Tessa first experienced the novelty of performing bluegrass on the 1683 ex-Gingold Stradivarius violin, on loan to her at the time.  Stradgrass soon become something of a personal trademark, representing the synthesis of Tessa’s musical styles (even though she had to return the Strad in 2018 and actually recorded this album on her ca. 1600 Maggini violin, on loan through the Stradivari Society of Chicago).  Calibrating her classical training with the more improvisatory approach of her colleagues was a pleasurable challenge for Tessa: “An album like this is very natural to me. It’s where I live in music. I feel I grew a lot as an artist, as it did require me to listen with even bigger ears and a bigger soul.”