| Crescendo virtuosoViolin
Frédéric Pelassy, violin
Virtuoso masterpieces for solo violin
Bach, Prokoviev, Ysaye, Paganini
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Partita n° 2 BWV 1004
Sergei Prokoviev (1891-1953)
Sonata Opus 115
Eugène Ysaye (1858-1931)
“Ballade” Third sonata in one movement
Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840)
Capricci Opus 1 n°1,9,11 and 24
All of the literature for solo violin is dominated by the enormity of Johann Sebastian Bach. Written in 1720, his Sonatas and Partitas stand out as a kind of culmination of what the four strings of a violin are capable of expressing in terms of melody, rhythm and harmony.
However, as time goes on, the demonstrative virtuosity of the instrument asserts itself in the pursuit of another level. In the lineage of Corelli or Locatelli, Paganini composes with his notorious trademark of being particularly difficult to perform.
In 1923 Eugène Ysaÿe, a renowned violin virtuoso of his time, raises the genre to new heights by producing his “Six Sonatas for solo violin”, illustrating the technical maturity of the art of the violin and exploring new polyphonic spaces.
It is significant that Ysaye, just like Prokofiev or Bartok a few years later, will not hesitate to place his work in Bach’s wake. The harmonic language remains profoundly marked, although it is very different as a result of the historical context.
Thus the four strings of a violin, skimming through two centuries of compositions written for them, throw the listener into a multi-faceted universe of sound: a journey weaving through history of the western music.