In the morning of 26 September 1886, Belgian composer César Franck send his friend, violinist, composer, and fellow countryman Eugène Ysaÿe, his only sonata for violin and piano. The occasion: the 28 years old virtuoso was about to get married to Louise Bordeau...
A masterwork full of poetry and passion, the wide emotional range of the sonata was received by Ysaÿe with spontaneous enthusiasm and was actually performed that very day for the couple’s guests after only one rehearsal. The piano part was performed by Marie-Léontine Bordes-Pène. What a moment it must have been!
From that day forth and during his entire lifetime, Ysaÿe championed the piece, which eventually became and remained a fixture of the instrument's chamber repertoire.
See here how the piece continues to get new interpretative approaches, providing both violinists and pianists with limitless expressive possibilities, which results in unique performances, sometimes melancholic (Petrova), passionate (Mutter), elegant (Capuçon), or even tormented (Ferras)… It is also worth finding works by Ysaÿe himself, you will no doubt be amazed by their virtuosity, an unmistakable trait of the Belgian legend.
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