A few years back, I was preparing my application for The International Ludwig van Beethoven Competition in the Czech Republic — a pretty serious-sounding competition, though in the end it was a light-hearted little meetup of young players from around Europe. In getting my repertoire sorted out, one thing struck me as odd; they requested solo works from either Ysaÿe, Ernst, or Kreisler.
It took me a long minute to recall that Kreisler did indeed have a solo violin work: Recitativo and Scherzo, Opus 6.
At the competition, I managed to catch a performance while taking a break from practicing. Opus 6 was on the program. I quite liked it, and it seemed far more mature than Kreisler’s more famous cocktail pieces that brought him much fame. Interstingly, not many participants chose Kreisler over the Ysaÿe or Ernst. Maybe one or two did. It was my thinking that Kreisler was a very safe choice next to Ernst’s Last Rose of Summer, or Ysaÿe’s 6th Sonata.
The competition went very well, and I have great memories for my success that summer.
Then some time passed.
It wasn’t until recently that I gave Opus 6 much address. I knew I liked it, that it had a warm-exploring movement, followed by a light and fun second movement. But then I bumped into a very fine recording of it, and for the first time, I became a big fan.
And there couldn’t have been better timing!
I have decided to explore and record the repertoire for violin alone — that is, for solo violin. Beginning with Kreisler’s Opus 6, and coupling it with Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 4 (ascribed to his dear friend Kreisler), I will be recording these two great works this July and releasing them here at nato.cc.
Thanks for tuning in.