Béla Bartók’s Sonata for Solo Violin and Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonatas Op. 27 are the most significant works for solo violin after JS Bach. Both Bartók and Ysaÿe continually refer back to the great model whilst preserving their originality. Prokofiev wrote his Solo Sonata Op. 115 for ambitious violin students; short and crisp, with class and spirit.more
Béla Bartók’s Sonata for Solo Violin and Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonatas Op. 27 are the most significant works for solo violin after JS Bach. Both Bartók and Ysaÿe continually refer back to the great model whilst preserving their originality. Prokofiev wrote his Solo Sonata Op. 115 for ambitious violin students; short and crisp, with class and spirit.
Landmarks for Solo Violin
Franziska Pietsch's recent recording of the Prokofiev Violin Concertos with large-scale orchestra is followed seemingly by the opposite: works for solo violin. What appears, at first sight, to be a contrast is in fact a logical continuation of her extensive discography, even an enhancement: whilst in her previous releases, Pietsch demonstrated her expressive range and intensive approach both as a brilliant soloist and as an eloquent chamber musician, she now faces the greatest possible reduction, namely a solo recital. This limitation demands incredible presence, power and intensity, for which Franziska Pietsch is predestined. From isolation, she draws depth and grounding; "less" becomes "more"; soleness transforms into greatness.
For her solo recital, she has put together an individual choice of compositions which have accompanied her from an early age and which, for her, represent significant personal and artistic experiences. Prokofiev, to whose works she feels a particular affinity, is also featured here.
Once again, Franziska Pietsch displays a compelling combination of technique and interpretation: her irrepressible creative force penetrates all technical challenges, never losing sight of her interpretation, every note forming part of her reading - a deeply personal recording of the solo sonatas by Bartók, Ysaÿe and Prokofiev.
Bartók's solo sonata, written for Yehudi Menuhin in 1944, and the six sonatas Op. 27 by Ysaÿe are amongst the most prominent twentieth century compositions for violin. Bach, the great paragon, is present in all these works. From Ysaÿe's cycle, Pietsch has chosen the particularly striking Sonatas Nos 2 and 3 which are dedicated respectively to the violinists Jacques Thibaud and George Enescu. As an "encore" she plays the solo sonata Op. 115 by Sergei Prokofiev which had been intended for ambitions violin students. Transcending its original purpose, however, this compact work is a small stroke of genius.
Forthcoming recording projects featuring Franziska Pietsch include the violin sonatas by Shostakovich and Strauss (pianist: Josu de Solaun) as well as string trios by Schnittke, Penderecki and Weinberg (Trio Lirico).