The 500-pound gorilla in the room inasmuch as the compositions of Belgian violinist-composer Eugène Ysaÿe is concerned are the set of six solo violin sonatas he composed in 1924; all six are widely performed and have been recorded numerous times. The reputation of these pieces is so gargantuan that little else of Ysaÿe’s output has been recorded, and a quick look at his known output demonstrates that the six sonatas are merely the tip of what is a very large iceberg. Belgian violinist Sandrine Cantoreggi, assisted by pianist Bruno Canino, attempts to lift the veil a little further through her Turtle Records disc Ysaÿe.
Of the eight works presented here, only Saltarelle Carnavalesque, Op. 11 — composed when Ysaÿe was 18 — is previously unrecorded, and some others visited in the course of the program are reasonably well covered, though in the context of mixed recitals of various composers. It is certainly a plus to hear all of these things together, and away from the context of the monolithic solo sonatas; usefully, Cantoreggi includes both of the only two original pieces Ysaÿe himself recorded.