Here is a dream lockdown project for a great violinist. There are many recordings of these Sonatas – which, collectively, could be described as bookends to Bach’s solo partitas – but none quite as poignantly appropriate as this one; Ehnes, stuck at home for most of 2020, acted largely as his own producer and engineer for this album, which he recorded in his music room in June last year. 

James Ehnes

Ysaÿe, violin giant, teacher of Nathan Milstein, William Primrose and many others, also wrote a great deal of music, but these Sonatas are his calling card to posterity as a composer, and you can hear why: each is dedicated to a great violinist who happened to be one of his friends, and they are teeming with invention, in many ways offering a 65-minute tour of the instrument’s history. In the third Sonata, dedicated to Fritz Kreisler, there is much that is mock-Baroque, while the Sixth, for which Spanish violinist Manuel Quiroga was the dedicatee, includes a habañera . The second Sonata, written...