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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55226
Recording details: January 1997
Philipszaal, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Produced by Arnout Probst
Engineered by Arnout Probst
Release date: March 1997
Total duration: 12 minutes 40 seconds

'Even the most demanding of Ysaye's flights of fancy sound beautiful, with the accurate tuning complemented by fine tone, thrillingly precise fingerwork, plus excellent recording' (Gramophone)

'Graffin's unfailing intonation places this disc at the top of the available versions' (The Strad)

'Obviously and enthusiastically recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'Excellent enregistrement, transparent, précis, avec une excellente restitution des timbres. Définition parfaite' (Diapason, France)

Poème élégiaque, Op 12

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
With the Poème élégiaque, Op 12, written in 1892–3, Ysaÿe moved away from the pieces he wrote merely for virtuosic purposes in his youth. The only legacy from the virtuoso practice of the past is the scordatura: the G string is here tuned to an F, giving a dark colour, the violin sounding sometimes like a viola. First written for violin and piano, Ysaÿe later orchestrated the piece. The work is dedicated to Gabriel Fauré, from whom he had already commissioned a piano quintet (Op 89, which the composer was to take a further ten years to finish). However, it was upon Ernest Chausson that the Poème élégiaque was to have a great influence, serving as the example for the famous Poème which he would write three years later. Ysaÿe the interpreter participated here fully in the creative process. The similarities between the two works are striking: the general atmosphere, the Wagnerism, the shape, the sublime trills at the end … Ysaÿe helped in writing the violin part, in particular the cadenza of the work which Chausson eventually called ‘mon– ton poème’ (‘my–your poème’).

from notes by Philippe Graffin © 1997

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