Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931) – Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Op. 27 (1923). Released to mark the centenary of the work. Jana Vöröšová (b. 1980) – Obsession II (inspired by Eugène Ysayë’s sonatas, and composed for the present recording)
Daniel Matejča – violin (Joseph Gagliano Filius, 1776)
“The artist's first task is to forget himself.” This statement, bold in its time, has been ascribed to Eugène Ysaÿe, referred to as the “King of the Violin”, who as a composer and performer considerably contributed to the modernisation of violin playing. In 1923, he was so deeply impressed by J. S. Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001, as performed by Joseph Szigeti, that within a few hours (!) he sketched a set of six sonatas as a counterpart to Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006. Ysaÿe dedicated each of his sonatas to a superb contemporary violinist, tailoring it to his style. Technically reaching the limits of the instrument, the pieces placed enormous requirements on the dedicatees (Szigeti, Thibaud, Enescu, Kreisler, Crickboom, Quiroga), yet they remain challenging for the violinists of today. One hundred years after Ysaÿe created the set of six sonatas, this formidable task has been undertaken by the outstanding young Czech virtuoso Daniel Matejča, the winner of the Eurovision Young Musicians competition (2022), Telemann Violin Competition (Poznan 2020) and Jugend musiziert (Halle 2019). Matejča studied with such distinguished violinists as Boris Belkin and Christian Tetzlaff, and, after collaborating to acclaim with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, has been invited to perform with other renowned orchestras. Supraphon has shifted the 100-year-old concept to the 21st century and commissioned a composition that would reflect Ysaÿe’s sonatas, as well as young violinists’ musicality and virtuosity. Jana Vöröšová’s Obsession II is both answer and challenge.
Ysaÿe’s sonatas – a cherished challenge for the young virtuoso Daniel Matejča
“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… Matejča’s ‘Malinconia’ is poignant in its sheer simplicity, and there's a heroic glitter to the ‘Les furies’ finale.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2023
“Still only a teenager, the Czech violinist Daniel Matejča has already won a number of prestigious music competitions. His set of the Sonatas is very clearly focused, brilliant yet never flashy… In the Ballade Third Sonata, he seems acutely mindful of the music’s heated emotional climate and potentially wide dynamic range… He also does wonderfully well by the Kreislerian Fourth Sonata’s finale, with its carpal twists and turns.” Gramophone, September 2023