The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Eugène Ysaÿe

Eugène Ysaÿe

A cabinet card portrait of the Belgian violinist, composer and conductor Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931), regarded by many of his contemporaries as ‘The King of Violin’.

Eugène Ysaÿe was one of the greatest violinists who ever lived. He coupled beauty of tone and remarkable technical ability with a depth of musical expression that few violinists before or since can be said to have equalled, or even approached. Ysaÿe succeeded in breathing new life into an art that had become polarized by two divergent styles and personalities: the austere temperament of Joseph Joachim and the flashy virtuosity of Pablo de Sarasate. Ysaÿe achieved a grand synthesis of these two approaches by imbuing the ‘serious’ music of Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven, so dear to Joachim, with the flashy yet never superficial brilliance that Sarasate had been wont to apply to ‘lesser’ works in the repertoire. Ysaÿe became the leading violinist of his time and trained many illustrious pupils and protégés, among them Josef Gingold and Fritz Kreisler. He was also an accomplished composer and conductor.

Photographed by Elliott and Fry of 55 Bakers Street, London.


Code: 123567
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© Paul Frecker 2019