Passion Ysaye: Six Sonatas

Album cover art for upc 825646838554
Label: Warner Classics
Catalog: 2564683855
Format: CD

RACHEL KOLLY D'ALBA

Wholenote Discoveries - February 2011
It’s somewhat surprising that the Ysaÿe Six Sonatas for Solo Violin Op.27 aren’t better known. Eugène Ysaÿe – a colossus of a performer, in all respects - is often referred to as the first ‘modern’ violinist, and the sonatas, written in 1923 when he was 64, not only summed up the polyphonic achievements of the preceding 200 years but also introduced new techniques that were to influence the solo works of Bartok, Hindemith and Prokofiev. Each sonata is dedicated to – and reflects the character of – a colleague of Ysaÿe’s: Joseph Szigeti; Jacques Thibaud; George Enescu; Fritz Kreisler; Mathieu Crickboom; and Manuel Quiroga. Consequently, they differ greatly in form and content, but this simply makes the startling originality and individuality of these remarkable works even more apparent. Perhaps surprisingly, given their fiendish difficulty, the sonatas have been well served on CD, albeit by few of the really elite performers. The Swiss violinist Rachel Kolly D’Alba provides all that you could possibly ask for on “Passion Ysaÿe”, combining a dazzling technique with a sensitivity and artistry that earned her the stamp of approval from Jacques Ysaÿe, the composer’s grandson. Terry Robbins

Price: $22.98