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David W Moore
American Record Guide, March 2010

It is a big, rich-sounding work in three movements lasting half an hour. It is lateromantic and impressionist in style, very demanding technically, and emotionally satisfying. Kraggerud andfMonsen have a lovely time with it, enjoying themselves in its labyrinth of activity.

To read the complete review, please visit American Record Guide online.

Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, March 2010

This exceptionally clever amalgam of diverse influences is nevertheless melded into a convincing structure, and is played with real force and sensitivity by the trio. The final work is the Sonata for Solo Cello. Given its compositional proximity to the Violin sonatas we shouldn’t be surprised that it prefigures the ‘Bach’ sonata that he dedicated to Thibaud. There is conversational wit as well as concision of expression, and again the performance is really first class.

Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, December 2009

Great credit to Naxos for releasing a disc which by definition is never going to leap off the shelves in its thousands yet provides curious collectors with a superb introduction to the chamber music of this still undervalued composer who is so much more than just a purveyor of violinistic virtuosity. More please.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2009

Eugène Ysaÿe made a profound effect on the violin world, not only as a brilliant performer, but also as one of the greatest mentors whose teaching is still being passed down to our modern virtuosos. On stage he was imposing both in his height and body size, and those who knew him recall that “he never had the violin out of his hand”. He had a remarkable memory, and would give an accompaniment on his instrument to a student he was teaching. That he was a superb technician and had high expectations of others comes through in his demanding scores. He dedicated the Sonata for two violins to Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, whom he taught. Whether she could play it with him is speculative as both parts are challenging, its three movements creating a work of around thirty minutes. The String Trio was composed in 1927, twelve years after the duo, the scoring oft creating the feeling that more than three players are involved. Ysaÿe never heard it played, and it takes its name—Le Chimay—from the place of its first performance. In one continuous movement of several sections, it too is a score of substantial length. The inspiration of Bach is very obvious in the Solo Cello Sonata, a piece cast in four short movements of highly contrasting moods. The Norwegian performers are a highly distinguished team, the violinist, Henning Kraggerud, and violist, Lars Anders Tomter, already acclaimed for their Naxos recordings. They are here joined by violinist, Bard Monsen, and cellist, Ole-Eirik Ree, both having built careers in the States and Norway. Throughout the performances are impeccable in the beauty of sound and infallible technique. Sound engineering is first class and a release I fervently recommended.

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