Sunday, 5 October 2008

I have never come across the Norwegian Henning Kraggerud before, but his new CD of the six solo sonatas by Eugène Ysaÿe is most impressive. Kraggerud does not differentiate the individual works quite as remarkably as did Fanny Clamargirand in her recent traversal, but his Guarneri del Gesù makes a lovely gritty sound and his playing is spot-on accurate and quite up to Ysaÿe's severe violinistic demands.

It's attractive music and has been lucky on CD. At around 67 minutes it is tailor-made for CD, of course, and record companies also love the fact they only have one artist to pay. Apart from Kraggerud and Clamargirand, there are Shumsky and Kavakos, plus a number of other excellent recordings. I like all six sonatas ... as long as I am not required to play them.

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