Sonata No. 4, Op. 27
In this session, Professor Tedi Papavrami and student Anoush Papoyan explore the almost parody-like “baroque” Sonata No. 4, Op. 27 by Eugène Ysaÿe, 1st movement.
Papavrami first instructs his student to respect what is written in the music and to be extremely strict and precise, as there is no room for improvisation. Furthermore, Papoyan is advised to pay attention to the weight of her right arm and take small respirations with her bow without lifting it and without it losing any weight.
She must avoid heavy vibratos and keep a certain warmth in her interpretation. The pair also discuss posture, tempo, and bowing techniques.
Following what is written.
Respecting the character of the piece
Producing a warm and round sound.
The Sonata No 4 in E minor was composed by Belgian virtuoso musician Eugène Ysaÿe in the summer of 1923, and is a bit of a “Baroque spoof”, using the traditional sonata codes but in an updated version. Written in three movements: Allemanda, Sarabande and Finale, the composition is tonal in nature and features a virtuoso bow and left-hand techniques. It begins slowly, highlighting the notes E, F sharp, G, and A. After the development, the first movement eventually ends in a fugue. In the Sarabande, these four notes appear in reverse, featuring pizzicato and then bowing techniques. The Finale has the four notes descending, perhaps echoing Fritz Kreisler's Pugnani.
The piece was dedicated to Austrian American violinist Fritz Kreisler.
Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this violin masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Tedi Papavrami’s feedback and comments.
In 1985 he won the "Rodolfo Lipitzer" competition in Gorizia.
Born in Albania Tedi Papavrami was introduced to the violin at age five by his father, a brilliant teacher with many years of pedagogical experience. Tedi progressed rapidly, and within three years he was performing at Sarasate’s Airs Bohémiens with the Tirana Philharmonic Orchestra. At the age of eleven-years-old, he tackled Paganini’s Concerto No. 1 with the Emile Sauret’s fearsome and challenging cadenza.
In 1982, French flautist Alain Marion, who had come to give a concert in Tirana, heard the child prodigy play – and promptly arranged for him to come to Paris with a bursary from the French government. Tedi went on to study with Pierre Amoyal at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique. Moreover, he appeared on popular television programs and gave many concerts at that time. Eventually reaching the end of his studies, Tedi went on perfecting his instrumental and musical independently. He and his family eventually fled Communist-led Albania permanently and moved near Bordeaux.
Tedi Papavrami has won numerous international prizes in the 1990s and embarked on a brilliant solo and chamber music career. He has also collaborated as concerto soloist with conductors of the likes of Kurt Sanderling, Armin Jordan, Emmanuel Krivine, and more. He has performed in recitals and on disc with chamber music partners such as Philippe Bianconi, Nelson Goerner, Martha Argerich, among others. He has been recording since 1990. In 2014, he released a CD featuring 6 solo violin sonatas by Eugène Ysaÿe and the same composer’s sonata for two violins alongside his colleague Svetlin Roussev, was simultaneously awarded two of the most outstanding French distinctions: the Diapason d’Or and the Choc de l’Année (Classica magazine).
Tedi Papavrami now lives in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is violin professor at the Haute École de Musique.
Eugène Ysaÿe was a Belgian genius violinist and composer, and was born in Liège in 1858. His whole family was musically inclined, and he started learning the violin at an early age, with his father. After learning music in his home country, he moved to Paris to pursue his studies.
He toured intensely as a solo artist for prestigious orchestras and assumed a teaching position, which he kept for many years. Many famous composers dedicated some of their major works to him. He married fellow-Belgian Louise Bourdau in 1886, and together they had five children. When Louise died in 1924, he re-married with 44-year his junior violinist Jeanette Dincin, who cared for him as his health declined, until he passed away in his home in Forest, Belgium in 1931.
He left behind an impressive musical catalog: six Sonatas for Solo Violin op. 27, the unaccompanied Sonata for Cello, op. 28, one Sonata for Two Violins, eight Poèmes for various instruments (one or two violins, violin and cello, string quartet) and orchestra (Poème élégiaque, Poème de l'Extase, Chant d'hiver, Poème nocturne, among others), pieces for string orchestra without basses (including Poème de l'Exil), two piano trios, a string quintet, and an opera, Peter the Miner. His Eugène Ysaÿe Collection, which can be found in the Royal Belgium library, also includes many scores, letters, photographs, films, and recordings.