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.
Adaption of the Violinsonata for flute
Helene Schulthess adapted the first movement of “Obsession”, which has no double stops, for the flute. The arrangement was first played publicly on 19 October 2014 in the Giacometti Halle in Zurich.
The place of performance of Obsession is today's city police station of Zurich. Earlier, in this building was the orphanage of the city.