Eugene Ysaye posing against a piano with his violin

Eugène Ysaÿe


Schubert Club Performance: April 29, 1895

“King of the Violin”

Artist note by Richard Evidon

Eugène Ysaÿe was often called the “King of the Violin” by his contemporaries. Many composers dedicated works to him, including his friends César Franck (the Violin Sonata) and Claude Debussy (the String Quartet). In these 1913-14 recordings with pianist Camille Decreus, the iconic Belgian virtuoso is heard in repertoire similar to what he offered his Schubert Club audience in St. Paul two decades earlier when he was still in his prime. Although the antiquated recording may be dim and Ysaÿe’s playing already impaired by physical ailments – he would soon turn to conducting and headed the Cincinnati Symphony from 1918-22 – these snippets still convey a strong impression of this legendary musician’s artistry:

From the Schubert Club Archive:

Program from Ysaÿe’s 1895 Schubert Club concert

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