The six Sonatas for solo violin of Eugène Ysaÿe are essential works in his catalog, inspired by the sonatas and partitas of J.S. Bach, and composed as a tribute to the violinists Joseph Szigeti, Jacques Thibaud, George Enescu, Fritz Kreisler, Mathieu Crickboom, and Manuel Quiroga. These pieces suggest a Janus-like combination of retrospection and the avant-garde, hearkening to the past through allusive figurations and direct quotations (e.g., references in the Sonata No. 2 to Bach's Partita No. 3 and the Dies Irae), but looking to the future in the use of extended violin techniques and novel sonorities. Alina Ibragimova's 2015 release on Hyperion is an absorbing performance, concentrated in tone and accomplished in technique, yet wonderfully ambiguous in expression, in keeping with Ysaÿe's quirky mix of playfulness and high-minded seriousness. Recorded in the concert hall of Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, in May 2014, Ibragimova has great clarity and presence, and the acoustics provide enough resonance to soften the violin's sometimes overly rosinous sound.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Sonata No. 1 in G minor, for solo violin, Op. 27 No. 1|
|Sonata No. 2 in A minor, for solo violin, Op. 27 No. 2|
|Sonata No. 4 in E minor, for solo violin, Op. 27 No. 4|
|Sonata No. 5 in G major, for solo violin, Op. 27 No. 5|