This is one sweet disc, no doubt about it. German violinist Sophia Jaffé has put together a fascinating program and executed it with breathtaking panache. At either end of the program are Suk's deeply passionate Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 17, and Beethoven's wonderfully serene Sonata in G major for Violin and Piano, Op. 96. In between are Bach's brightly lyrical Partita in E major for Solo Violin, BWV 1006, and Ysaÿe's darkly dramatic Sonata in A minor for Solo Violin, Op. 27. Each work places enormous technical demands on the soloist, and in every case, Jaffé leaves them utterly fulfilled and wholly spent, for example, her melancholic account of Suk's Un poco triste, her radiant reading of Bach's Preludio, her fiery take on Ysaÿe's Obsession, and her positively beaming interpretation of Beethoven's opening Allegro moderato. Ably accompanied in the Suk and Beethoven by pianist Björn Lehmann and recorded in very present digital sound by Genuin, this disc should be heard by anyone with an interest in the repertoire or in first-class violinists.
Works for Violin & Piano by Bach, Beethoven, Ysaÿe & Suk Review
by James Leonard