On his first album, the gifted young violinist Daniel Matejča, a rising classical music star, has succeeded in rendering the diversity and amplitude of Eugène Ysaÿe’s Six Sonatas for Solo Violin. Combining Baroque inspiration and modern techniques, the masterpiece expresses deep respect for J. S. Bach, as well as the Belgian composer’s contemporaries. Supraphon has shifted Ysaÿe’s 100-year-old concept to the 21st century and commissioned from the Czech composer Jana Vöröšová a work reflecting both Ysaÿe’s sonatas and the violinist’s musicality and virtuosity. Supraphon will release the debut album Daniel Matejča refers to as his dream come true on 21 April 2023, just a few days before the artist’s 18th birthday. It will be available on CD and in digital formats.
Daniel Matejča began playing the violin when he was four. Since the age of seven, he has been taught by professor Ivan Štraus, under whose tutelage he is now studying at the Faculty of Music of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Daniel Matejča has gathered numerous accolades. Three years ago, he became overall winner of the prestigious Kocián Violin Competition; in 2020, he advanced to the final of Czech Radio’s Concertino Praga contest; in 2021, he came first in the closely observed Virtuosos V4+ international television show. His most recent successes include victory in the 2022 Eurovision Young Musicians competition in Montpellier, France. Another major milestone in his promising career will be his debut album, featuring Eugène Ysaÿe’s Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, scheduled for imminent release on Supraphon. The young artist’s recording of the set marks the centenary of the masterpiece’s inception. The present album also contains the Czech composer Jana Vöröšová’s Obsession II, inspired by Ysayë’s sonatas and specially written for Daniel Matejča.
“The artist's first task is to forget himself,” thus reputedly stated boldly Eugène Ysaÿe, who, as a composer and performer alike, significantly contributed to the modernisation of violin playing. In 1923, he was so profoundly 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 the Baroque master’s Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006. Ysaÿe dedicated each of his sonatas to a renowned 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 just as challenging for present-day violinists. A century after Ysaÿe conceived the set of six sonatas, this formidable task has been undertaken by the superb young Czech virtuoso Daniel Matejča. 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 the young violinist’s musicality and virtuosity. Jana Vöröšová’s Obsession II is both answer and challenge.
Daniel Matejča said of his debut album: “It’s a set representing my musical taste, as well as musical development. The album encapsulates five years of my life. I began playing Ysaÿe’s sonatas when I was 12, starting with the second. The music so enraptured me that I decided to learn all of them. Five years later, I was given the opportunity to make a recording and I am delighted that my very first album features such fascinating and wonderful pieces.”