John Tallis 1911-1996 - A composer of his time

John Tallis was born in Australia at the end of the golden era before the world was ripped apart by the horrors of the First World War; his music reflects the optimism of the much vaunted, if unfulfilled, Second Elizabethan Age.

This CD features music for piano (performed by Stefan Cassomenos), violin (Monica Curro), and soprano (Janet Todd), introducing a fascinating, undiscovered aspect of Australian compositional history.

The most significant work here is the inventive and fresh three-movement Sonata, which has a French influence. Stefan Cassomenos handles the juxtaposition of left and right hand motives very skilfully, as well as the forward flow of the interesting links between phrases. And near the end the rapid passages in the left hand with the positive chords in the right hand. The Interlude is a delightful reverie, and the brilliant and scintillating Conclusion, with a big flourish at the end, would not have been out of place in a work by Ravel!

The Fantasy for violin and piano is based on two Aboriginal themes displays excellent rapport between the two instruments. Tallis has clad the inventive theme with a seamless development.

The CD includes a paraphrase of The Sentimental Bloke, also for violin and piano; a Suite in eighteenth century style, seven very short pieces for piano, incidental music to Marlowe's play Edward II, and three delightful songs sung by Janet Todd.


John Tallis

John Tallis studied in Paris with Marcel Dupre and Madame Bascouret in the late 20s and early 30s, and subsequently at the Royal College of Music in London.

Stefan Cassomenos

Melbourne pianist, conductor and composer Stefan Cassomenos gives regular recitals and concerto performances throughout Australia, and has appeared as a soloist throughout Europe and Asia. His 2007 London debut was reviewed in Musical Opinion by John Amis, as ‘a prodigious London debut by a formidable talent’.

Monica Curro

Violinist Monica Curro graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 1987 and completed a Masters Degree at Michigan State University in 1991.

Janet Todd

Janet Todd is a young Melbourne soprano. Janet has been the recipient of the Beleura-Tallis Opera Scholarship through the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust since 2010. She received runner up in the Herald Sun Aria in 2009 and won the Opera Foundation Australia AIMS Award in 2010.

Press quote

“The recording is clear and spacious and well balanced, and the piano sounds very good.  And I am very impressed by Stefan’s playing – fluent, with a sensitive touch and fine judgment of phrasing, as well as what seems to me to be a good grasp of the composer’s intentions.  And that goes also for the sensitive violinist, with her faultless intonation.”

— Ian Hunt, who shared a mutual appreciation of the significant arts with John Tallis for many years.,

Track Listing

    Sonata for solo piano John Tallis

  1. Statement
  2. Interlude
  3. Conclusion
  4. Fantasy for violin and piano John Tallis
  5. Paraphrase: The Sentimental Bloke John Tallis
  6. Suite in eighteenth century style John Tallis

  7. I. Toccata
  8. II. Allemande
  9. III. Courante
  10. IV. Sarabande
  11. V. Gavotte
  12. VI. Gigue
  13. Seven pieces for piano John Tallis

  14. I. Prelude
  15. II. Little Fugue
  16. III. Valse Caprice
  17. IV. Madrigal
  18. V. Tartar March
  19. VI. Lullaby
  20. VII. Pastoral
  21. Incidental music: Edward II John Tallis

  22. Prelude
  23. Prelude to last act
  24. Ballad: The Mountain Snow
  25. March for a festive occasion
  26. Interlude
  27. Epilogue
  28. All Suddenly John Tallis Rupert Chawner Brooke
  29. Lullaby John Tallis Thomas Dekker
  30. Chigi's Song John Tallis


Where to buy

John Tallis 1911-1996 - A composer of his time is available as as CD. It can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.

Product details

List price
$25.00 AUD
Kawai Australia
Tallis Foundation
Release date
December 2011
© 2011 The Tallis Foundation
℗ 2011 The Tallis Foundation
Classical, Keyboard
Catalogue number
MCD 463
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574046328