French Luminaries

Henri Le Sidaner (1862–1939). Sunday, 1898, oil on canvas. Musée de la Chartreuse, Douai, France. Photo credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

Concert Program V

French Luminaries

As violinists from the Baroque period throughout the nineteenth century nurtured Germany’s violin tradition, generations of French virtuosi likewise cultivated a distinct national style. Concert Program V begins with the Sonata in e minor for Two Violins by Jean-Marie Leclair, the first great violinist of the French school, who came to be celebrated as “the French Corelli.” Over a century later, the Belgian violinist, composer, and conductor Eugène Ysaÿe, who combined Joachim’s intellect with Paganini’s flair, would set listeners aflame with his intrepid approach to the instrument. In addition to composing his own masterpieces, Ysaÿe served as inspiration through his brilliant playing for composers from César Franck and Gabriel Fauré to Claude Debussy.


Jean-Marie Leclair (1697–1764)
Sonata in e minor for Two Violins, op. 3, no. 5 (1730)
Eugène Ysaÿe(1858–1931)
Rêve d’enfant (A Child’s Dream), op. 14 (ca. 1895–1900)
César Franck(1822–1890)
Violin Sonata in A Major (1886)
Claude Debussy(1862–1918)
Petite suite for Piano, Four Hands (ca. 1886–1889)
Gabriel Fauré(1845–1924)
Piano Quartet no. 1 in c minor, op. 15 (1876–1879, rev. 1883)
Saturday 28Jul