Rêves – Ysaÿe: Violin Concerto in E Minor • Poème Concertant (world premiere recordings)

Rêves – Ysaÿe: Violin Concerto in E Minor • Poème Concertant (world premiere recordings)

Release Date:

9th February 2024

Cat No:



£13.49 (1CD Deluxe | 32 page booklet)



“The discovery of long-languishing manuscripts enabled Philippe Graffin and his collaborators to reconstruct both pieces — a true labour of love by a musician long associated with the Belgian’s music” ★★★★ The Sunday Times

“Both works are dark and virtuosic, his fragile yet defiant instrument soaring above brooding orchestral forces” ★★★★ BBC Music Magazine

“The concerto, in particular, has an enjoyable swagger and sweep … Philippe Graffin is fully committed: agile, with a lean tone which in the quieter and sweeter passages takes on a confiding intimacy that I found very persuasive … The three encores – played with a sympathetic pianist, Marisa Gupta – are delightful” – Gramophone

“The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Jean-Jaques Kantorow synergistically react with Graffin in delivering a robust exposition of French Late Romantic Music. Ysaÿe’s music is full of pathos and drama befitting a virtuoso composer. Passionate and emotive both the Poème Concertant and the Violin Concerto seethe with virtuosity, requiring much of the soloist. Graffin is up to the challenge, wrestling Ysaÿe’s unfinished works into a finished and fully realized form” – Wild Mercury Rhythm

“The emotional expression is equally heartfelt but far more personal and intimate in two violin-and-orchestra works by Eugène Ysaÿe that receive their world premiѐre recordings on an AVIE disc featuring Philippe Graffin with conductor Jean-Jacques Kantarow and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra” – Infodad


The world-premiere recording of the complete Violin Concerto in E Minor by Belgian virtuoso violinist and composer Eugène Ysaÿe has arrived! Following the recent discovery of a first movement, further manuscripts which complete the work have come to light – one a full orchestration, others for violin and piano – which were found on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Philippe Graffin’s close collaboration with Ysaÿe aficionado Xavier Falques led to a page-by-page analysis and painstaking reconstruction of the musical puzzle pieces, resulting in this recording of the full, three-movement concerto which displays Ysaÿe’s trademark ardour, intensity and originality.

For reasons unknown, Ysaÿe abandoned his Violin Concerto in E minor in 1885, but some years later embarked on another, Poème concertant, which was also recently discovered in manuscript form and is imbued with passion and the love Ysaÿe felt for his pupil Irma Sethe. Their love was mutual but their relationship could not endure, possibly sealing the fate of Poème concertant which lay undiscovered for over a century but is now brought back to life with this world-premiere recording.

Philippe rounds out the recording with three Ysaÿe gems for violin and piano: 2 Mazurkas de Salon, Op.10, works the violinist / composer frequently performed and gained popularity throughout Europe and Russia in his lifetime; and Rêve d’enfant (“A child’s dream”), which he dedicated to his youngest son Antoine.


EUGÈNE YSAŸE (1858–1931)

1. Poème concertant for violin and orchestra 22.58
Orchestrated by Erika Vega [world premiere recording]

Violin Concerto in E Minor [world premiere recording]
I. Allegro appasionato non troppo vivo 15.21
3. II. Andante 07.49
4. III. Allegro in modo di pomposo ma furioso 12.24

Mazurkas de Salon Op. 10 for violin & piano
5. No. 1 (Dans le lontain) 4.25
6. No. 2 (Mazurka) 4.20

7. Rêve d’enfant Op. 14 for violin and piano 4.14

Philippe Graffin, violin
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Jean-Jacques Kantorow, conductor

Marisa Gupta, piano

Recordings: 20 & 21 June 2023, The Friary, Liverpool (concertos)
9 October 2023, Grande Salle, Royal Conservatory of Brussels (duos)
Producers: Rachel Smith (concertos); Felicia Bockstael (duos)
Sound Engineers: Ben Connellan (concertos); Steven Maes, Motormusic BV (duos)

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