This is Philippe Graffin's third release on Hyperion and he continues to enthral us with his unearthing of various lost treasures from the French salon repertoire. This time, he is accompanied by Pascal Devoyon who adds his own inimitable charm to the music which is altogether very suited as an accompaniment to Proust's 'Remembrance of Things Past'.
The works by Saint-Saëns are beautifully cultivated and very romantic in their outlook with the Caprice brilliant amongst the more virtuosic in execution. The Fantasy on Weber's 'Oberon' is also very fine indeed with the main themes from the opera appearing quite ominously but subtly crafted at the same time as original pieces. Ysaÿe is chiefly present in the transcription of Chopin's famous 'Ballade' #1 in G Major, one of the haunting works that is considered as one of his finest masterpieces, and in this violin transcription it comes across as quite masterly.
Finally Catherine Benyon makes an appearance as the harpist in the delicate 'Fantasie for violin and harp' by Saint-Saëns, another work in which Graffin excels himself. The wonderful cover painting is an added incentive to purchasing a disc that will definitely afford much pleasure to all fans of the violin.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech