The song from Vreneli ab em Guggisberg, is probably the oldest known Swiss folk song. It was first mentioned in 1741, the oldest surviving text version dates from 1764.
The simple, solemn melody has its origins in the evangelical chorales of the 16th century. It is first printed in 1818 in the collection of Swiss "Kuhreihen" by Gottlieb Jakob Kuhn. The Guggisberglied is one of the very rare Swiss folksongs in minor.The content and melody of the song are very emotional. According to various sources, in the old days in Swiss regiments in foreign war services the death penalty was said to be due to singing the song, since it promoted homesickness, formerly also called "Swiss disease".
The sheet music can be ordered by email for CHF 20.
Swiss folk music is very lively. Its diversity reflects the small regional and cultural spaces of Switzerland. Influences from other European countries have also shaped this kind of music since the early 19th century. Polka and Mazurka have their roots in Poland, the Scottish in Scotland. The music has been passed on by word of mouth or has been written down in musicians' notebooks.
Eugène Ysaÿe (1858 - 1931) was one of the greatest violinists of his time. After he had to end his career as a violin virtuoso due to health problems, he made himself a name as a composer and conductor. In 1923 he composed six solo sonatas, which have an important place in the violin literature.
"Obsession" is the second Solo Sonata – dedicated to Jacques Thibaud. However, only the first movement (Poco vivace) is suitable for the flute, because there is no double stopping in that part. Ysaÿe is obsessively engaged with Johann Sebastian Bach. The movement begins like the Prelude from the Partita in E major. The quotation, however, is changed immediately. Almost like a shock comes the venerable sequence from the Requiem Mass, the Dies irae. The music is full of passion and power.