First came Johann Sebastian Bach’s sonatas and partitas, then Nicolò Paganini’s caprices. Now, with the op. 27 sonatas of Eugène Ysaÿe, the key works in the repertoire for unaccompanied violin are available in urtext editions from Henle. Ysaÿe peppered these challenging works with extraordinary difficulties, dedicating each of them to a virtuoso violinist of his day and tailoring it to suit his special capabilities. Thanks to newly discovered source material, we are able to present a “definitive text” that in many respects supersedes the previously available text from the first edition.
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- Six Sonatas for Violin solo op. 27
Eugène Ysaÿe (1858–1931) occupies a towering and exceptional position in the history of musical performance, but this worked more to the detriment than to the benefit of his compositional oeuvre. Like his sometime partner on the piano, Ferruccio Busoni, he scaled new heights on the violin but showed hardly any concern for the dissemination of his own music. This situation … more
About the composer
A Belgian violinist, conductor, and composer, whose virtuosic playing, rich in tone color, significantly influences generations of violinists. His late-Romantic compositions, of which only a few survive, comprise instrumental and chamber music works.
|1858||Born in Liège on July 16. He receives his first violin lessons from his father.|
|1865–69||At the Brussels Conservatory he studies violin with Désiré Heynberg.|
|from 1869||Concert tours with his father take him through Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and France, where he performs as a prodigy.|
|1872||He continues his studies with Rodolphe Massatt.|
|from 1874||In Brussels he is a pupil of Henri Vieuxtemps and Henryk Wieniawski.|
|1876–79||He follows Vieuxtemps to Paris, where among others he meets César Franck, Anton Rubinstein, and Raoul Pugno.|
|1879–82||He is concertmaster of the Bilse Orchestra in Berlin. He meets Clara Schumann and Joseph Joachim.|
|1882||Together with Rubinstein he sets out on a concert tour through Russia and Scandinavia.|
|from 1883||In Paris he rises to becomes a well-regarded interpreter and frequent dedicatee of all of France’s great composers, including Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Ernest Chausson, and Camille Saint-Saëns.|
|1886–97||He teaches at the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels and gives concerts regularly, including with Enrique Granados, Ferruccio Busoni, and Sergei Rachmaninoff.|
|1912||Appointed court music director and Grand Officier de l’Ordre de Léopold.|
|1917–22||He emigrates to the United States, leads the Cincinnati Orchestra, and teaches at the conservatory in that city.|
|1922–30||Back in Belgium, he undertakes a few more concert tours.|
|1931||Dies in Brussels on May 12.|
About the authors
Ysaÿe hätte sich sicher gefreut, dass ein solch kompetenter Interpret dieser Stücke, wie F. P. Zimmermann sich mit der Neuausgabe beschäftigt hat. In der ersten Ausgabe, die zwar von Ysaÿe freigegeben war, waren spätere Korrekturen von ihm nicht mehr berücksichtigt; dies ist jetzt nachgeholt … Sehr dankbar für die Henle-Ausgabe sind alle Geiger, die nicht beim ersten Lesen schon alles auswendig behalten können, über die eingeklappten dritten Seiten, die einem das Wenden unterwegs, mitten in der Musik, ersparen.