《Caprice after a Study in Form of a Waltz, Op.52》

Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, Vi (1850)
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Saint-Saëns was one of the major figures who led the French musical renaissance in the 1870s. The Belgian violinist Eugene Ysaÿe (1858-1931) arranged No. 6 of Saint Saëns' Six Etudes for piano, Op. 52 for the violin. This piece retains the original saloon flavor of Saint-Saën's waltz, with a triple meter that brings out a delightful, elegant style. The theme of the waltz appears in various places in the piece, and with the novel bowing methods used by Ysaÿe, the theme undergoes many transformations: at times played pianissimo, at times fortissimo, at times played in octaves with ornate ornamentations that evoke the changing dance steps of ballerinas. In addition to displaying the amazing virtuosic skills of the performer, the piece's lyrical sections never lose their lithe, graceful essence, as they gradually drive the piece to its climax before arriving at its dramatic end. Through repeated listening, the listener is bound to discover new, delightful surprises in the piece. The violin used in this recording was made by French luthier Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (1798-1875) in 1850.