Tor Johan Bøen (violin) & Johannes Martens (cello)
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As a composer and performer Eugène Ysaÿe’s role in the development of modern violin technique is unquestioned. This new CD includes three string trios by Ysaÿe, two of which are receiving their world premiere recordings. These two have been reconstructed from manuscripts by one of the featured performers, the Norwegian violinist and musicologist Tor Johan Bøen. The Trio for two violins and viola is presented here in a new edition by Bøen.
A leading violin virtuoso of his time, Eugene Ysaÿe was a major inspiration for composers like Franck, Debussy, Chausson, and his six sonatas for solo violin have become central works of the modern repertoire. The two newly discovered and reconstructed trios presented here display how Ysaÿe, with his unique style of playing, explored and developed musical language, forms, counterpoint, polyphonic part writing, and the technical demands of the violin. The works on this CD were written in the years 1914-27, but only one of them was performed during Ysaÿe’s own lifetime, the Trio for two violins and viola. The Trio No. 1 for violin, viola and cello was premiered in 1969, whilst the previously unpublished Second Trio had to wait until the new millennium for its first performance.
Tor Johan Bøen started his search for the fragments of these string trios as his Doctorate project at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Through this study he has discovered how at the end of his life Ysaÿe made fundamental revisions and improvements of his works, even after the parts had been written out.
“It's fascinating music, allusive and emotionally involving, and its rich sonorities are most expertly realised by these performers.”