The Stradgrass Sessions – Tessa Lark, violin + friends

+ P&P

Released Summer 2022
FHR100 Categories: , ,


The Stradgrass Sessions
Released: Spring 2022

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)

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

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

Michael CLEVELAND (1980–)
Lazy Katie (2019)
Michael Cleveland fiddle

John CORIGLIANO (1938–)
STOMP (2011)  (Première recording)

Stephen FOSTER (1826–1864)
Meditation on My Old Kentucky Home (?1852)
John Batiste piano

Sierre HULL (1991–)
Chasin’ Skies (2011)
Sierra Hull mandolin

Edgar MEYER (1960–)
Concert Duo (1999)
Movement I & IV (Finale)
Edgar Meyer double bass

Eugène YSAŸE (1858–1931)
Violin Sonata No. 5 in G major, Op. 27, No. 5 (1923)

First single released from the album The Stradgrass Sessions
Released: 4 December 2020
Edgar MEYER (1960–)
Concert Duo for Violin and Bass: Finale (Mvt 4) (1999) [FHR100S2]
Tessa Lark violin
Edgar Meyer
double bass

Engineer/producer: Silas Brown
Co-producer: Michael Thurber

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.”