Bacewicz: Solo Violin Sonata No. 2; Bartók: Solo Violin Sonata; Biber: Passacaglia; Prokofiev: Solo Violin Sonata; Ysaÿe: Solo Violin Sonata in E minor, Op. 27 No. 4
Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux (violin)
Champs Hill CHRCD158 70:48 mins
Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux’s bracingly insightful playing on her debut disc encompasses a dazzling stylistic range. Whether disentangling the implied voice-leading in Biber’s G minor Passacaglia, hoisting aloft the exultant neo-classicism of the Prokofiev, or negotiating the complexities of Bartók’s Solo Sonata, she creates the uncanny impression of there being more than one player at work, colouring each line in the implied counterpoint so that it emerges with its own distinct timbre and personality.
As Andrew Stewart observes in his exemplary note, this is a recital that blends head and heart. Saluste-Bridoux magically counter-balances the two in Ysaÿe’s Fourth Sonata. At times she conjures up the old-world charm of the Sonata’s dedicatee Fritz Kreisler, yet she also retains the slightly edgy, harmonically acerbic quality of Ysaÿe’s stylistic cross-referencing. That same dichotomy between old and new is vividly realised in Bacewicz’s Second Sonata, which climaxes in a whirlwind finale dispatched here with gleeful abandon.
However, it is the Bartók Sonata that sets the seal on this captivating recital. The second movement fugue can easily descend into Bach-in-overdrive pyrotechnical meltdown, yet Saluste-Bridoux manages to lead the ear exactly where it’s supposed to go, while fully integrating the composer’s subtle folk-style inflections. The third movement ‘Melodia’ is played with exquisitely graded dynamics, tonal shadings and miraculous bow control.