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Ysaÿe: Six Sonatas for Solo Violin (Matejča)

Daniel Matejča (violin) (Supraphon)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Six Sonatas for Solo Violin
Daniel Matejča (violin)
Supraphon SU 43132   66:21 mins


Ysaÿe’s solo suites provide an enduring memorial to his violinist contemporaries, from Kreisler to Szigeti, enshrining an exalted art we can only hope will survive the pressures of our time. Young Czech Daniel Matejča, winner of Eurovision Young Musician 2022, picks up the baton for the next generation in this bold, impressive set.

In general, Matejča favours clarity over fantasy, swinging into the opening G minor Sonata with penetrating focus and a well-controlled line. But where, for example, Ibragimova (Hyperion) brings a heady sense of exploration to the shadowy ‘Fugato’, he is deliberate, though he captures the dancing caprice of the ‘Finale’. He has fun with the famous ‘Prelude Obsession’ of Sonata No. 2, which sends up fellow violinist Thibaud’s daily practice of Bach’s E major Partita, though James Ehnes (Onyx) adds another dimension of fiery drama. Matejča’s ‘Malinconia’ is poignant in its sheer simplicity, and there’s a heroic glitter to the ‘Les furies’ finale. The single-movement Third Sonata, for Enescu, forms the brooding heart of the set, and its narrative is drawn here with sinuous assurance. Matejča lends a supercharged ardour to Sonata No. 4 for Fritz Kreisler, but his Presto is safe beside the quick-silver effortlessness of Ibragimova’s. In the sixth sonata some of the magic (and the metre) is lost amidst the virtuosic challenges. Jana Vöröšová’s commissioned coda is a striking coalescence of what might be left drifting in the air after a performance of these astonishing paens to the violin.


Helen Wallace