Eugène Ysaÿe: Malinconia

“Don’t always vibrate, but always be vibrating” (Eugène Ysaÿe)

This is day 25 of the A-toZ Challenge in which I attempt to blog every day (excepting Sundays) during the month of April. During this month, I am curating a collection of “classical” music pieces, which are lesser known or by lesser known composers (to me at least).  Today’s composer is Eugène Ysaÿe (1858 – 1931).

Ysaÿe was a Belgian composer, conductor and violinist.  Reading his biography on Wikipedia here is like taking a walk through a “who’s who” of the violin world.  Born to a musical family who believed the violin was given to them by magic in days of yore,   Eugène a was a student of  Henryk Wieniawski, was appreciated as a violinist by Joseph JoachimFranz LisztClara Schumann, and Anton Rubinstein, and became a professor of violin, teaching  Josef Gingold, and Nathan Milstein. Cesar Franck wrote a violin concerto for his wedding and Claude Debussy wrote his string quartet in collaboration with Ysaÿe.  With friends like that….

Ysaÿe eventually made his way to the United States where he was conductor for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra after turning down a position with the New York Philharmonic.  (Imagine the place Cincinnati must have been when it could attract such talent as Ysaÿe to be a conductor.)

Ysaÿe returned to Belgium where he died in 1931 of complications related to diabetes.

Todays piece is the 3rd movement from his Violin Sonata No. 2.  It was dedicated to Jacques Thibaud, one of Ysaÿe’s contemporary violinists.



About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

10 Responses to Eugène Ysaÿe: Malinconia

  1. susanissima says:

    Oh, how I love your blog, Kurt. Learning so much every time I check in. Thank you!


  2. kvennarad says:

    Do you hear the quotation from ‘Dies Irae’ at the end of this movement? I do.


    • kurtnemes says:

      Thanks Is the melody the same in all Dies Irae? I can think of Verdi’s and Mozart’s Requiems. Best


      • kvennarad says:

        No, but some composers pick up on the gregorian chant. For example, I believe the 5th movement of the Fantastic Symphony by Berlioz contains a quotation from it. Here’s the movement, I think the ‘Dies Irae’ comes in at about 3:18


  3. kurtnemes says:

    Ah, I hear the Dies Irae now. Dies Irae, Dies Illa, Solvit omnes in vincilla. (Is my latin correct?)


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