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Penguin Guide, January 2009

As is ell known, the six Sonatas Ysaye published in 1924 were written for the six greatest virtuosi of the day: Szigetti, Kreisler, Enescu, Jacques Thibaud and (less well remembered nowadays) Manuel Quiroga and Matthieu Grickboom. They are held in special regard by violinists who enjoy overcoming the technical challenges they pose. Ilya Kaler was a gold medallist in the Sibelius, Paganini and Tchaikovsky competitions and is a virtuoso of the first order. These are commanding accounts, which characterize the particular qualities of each Sonata to impressive effect; eve if it did not enjoy a competitive price advantage it would be our preferred first choice.

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