String Trio 'le Chirney'
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While Ysaye' Six Solo Violin Sonatas remain his best known works, the Belgian virtuoso also composed other pieces which translate his thorough knowledge of the violin' capabilities into thrilling music. The performance here of his Sonata for Two Vio
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The String Trio 'Le Chimay', Op. Posth., is from 1927 and is named after the site of its first performance, the seat of the Prince of Chimay (Belgium), a patron of the arts. Ysaÿe's language has advanced from that of the two violin sonata and one hears a mixture of impressionism, chromaticism that extends tonality to its limits without ever becoming atonal. There are also hints of expressionism. The work is in one eighteen-minute movement that has six sections. One is struck by the skillful use of tone color not easily explained in a work that uses only three stringed instruments. Kraggerud is the violinist, Lars Anders Tomter the violist, and Ole-Eirik Ree the cellist. It is hard to imagine a better performance.
The Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 28, was written in 1923, during the time Ysaÿe was writing his solo violin sonatas. It comes only a few years after Kodaly had written his solo sonata, probably the twentieth century's most famous work in that form, and is equally attractive. Ysaÿe's sonata is fairly terse, almost monothematic, and densely argued. In its twelve-minute duration it comprises somber, lyrical, narrative and brilliant sections. The finale in particular is virtuosic in the extreme. A striking, original and engaging work played gorgeously here by cellist Ree.
If you know and love the Ysaÿe solo violin sonatas, you will want to add this disc to your collection as the works here are cut from the same cloth as the more familiar violin sonatas, and they are given marvelous performances here. There is no real recorded competition for these works.