Graffin, Philippe; Désert, Claire
Philippe Graffin’s virtuosity combined with his skills as a sleuth have led to the world-premiere recording of a “Posthumous” solo violin sonata by Eugene Ysaye, an astonishing discovery that extends the Belgian composer’s canon of his essential six sonatas for the medium. Philippe unearthed the nearly-completed manuscript in the library of the Brussels Conservatoire, and polished off the final movement in the most Ysaye-esque manner possible. Philippe’s penchant for intuitive programming I brought to bear on Fiddler’s Blues, combining two Ysaye works- including another premiere, with a pair of folksy, Bohemian-flavored works by George Enescu, another virtuoso violinist/composer who emigrated from his native Romania and like Ysaye settled in Paris. Enescu was a classmate of Maurice Ravel whose Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Faure is an affectionate nod to their teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, whilst his azure-tinged Violin Sonata influences the album’s title. Ravel’s slightly older contemporary Claude Debussy befriended Ysaye. Whereas Ysaye soared writing works for solo violin, Debussy wrote none. Suggesting how such a work may have sounded, Philippe contributes his own arrangement for solo violin of Debussy’s enduring piece Claire de lune.