Eugène Ysaÿe (1858–1931)
Obsession for flute solo
Eugène Ysaÿe – Obsession
Eugène Ysaÿe is one of the most important violinists of all time. Due to health problems, however, he had to end his career as a violin virtuoso prematurely. He subsequently made a name for himself as a composer and conductor. In 1923 he composed six solo sonatas, including "Obsession", which have a high status in violin literature.
The name of this second sonata could come from Ysaÿe's obsessive preoccupation with Johann Sebastian Bach. The sonata begins with the unmistakable sequence of tones of the Prelude from the Partita in E major, BWV 1006. Abruptly, almost as a shock, this theme is replaced by the ancient Dies Irae sequence from the Mass for the Dead.
Arrangement of the violin sonata 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 October 19, 2014 in the Giacometti Hall, Zurich, and was subsequently published on YouTube.
The performance location of Obsession is today's police station of the Zurich City Police. The city's orphanage used to be in this building.