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ALBUM TITLE: Ysaÿe: Violin Sonatas Nos 1-6
WORKS: Violin Sonatas Nos 1-6
PERFORMER: Tianwa Yang (violin)
CATALOGUE NO: 8.572995


Fresh from her recorded triumphs in Sarasate and Mendelssohn, Tianwa Yang negotiates the musical and technical chicanery of Ysaÿe’s six solo Sonatas with great aplomb. Even bearing in mind outstanding accounts by Philippe Graffin (Hyperion), Kristóf Baráti (Brilliant), Samika Honda (Polymnie) and Henning Kraggerud (Simax), Wang’s rare ability to sustain a convincing emotional narrative in these elusive scores proves highly compelling. Completely unfazed by Ysaÿe’s near-constant Bachian cross-referencing and mild harmonic astringencies, she moulds even the most challenging of phrases with a dedicated sensitivity and affectionate warmth.

Yang revels in the sweeping lyricism of the one-movement Third Sonata, while ensuring that the ominous Dies irae motif insinuates its way into the musical subconscious. She also conjures up a delightful image of a 17th-century mistress playing her spinet in the gentle pizzicatos that open the Fourth Sonata’s Sarabande, and in the finale ensures that Ysaÿe’s subtle wink in the direction of dedicatee Kreisler is keenly felt. Yang sets the pulse racing with the virtuosic feats in the final Sonata, retaining a remarkable fullness of tone.


Julian Haylock