Ysaÿe, Eugène


Ysaÿe, Eugène

Caprice d’après L’Etude en Forme de Valse op. 52, No. 6 de C. Saint-Saëns for violin and orchestra (Piano Reduction/Solo)

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Eugène Ysaÿe

Caprice d’après L’Etude en Forme de Valse

Op. 52, No. 6 de C. Saint-Saëns

(b. Liège, 16. July 1858 – d. Brussels, 12. May 1931)


Eugène Ysaÿe was perhaps the most famous violinist of the late nineteenth century. But he was also a skilled conductor and an imaginative composer, whose compositions include an opera as well as orchestral and chamber works.
The music that follows is the first reprint of the 1901 Durand edition of Ysaÿe’s Caprice d’après l’étude en forme de valse, Op. 52, no. 6 de C. Saint-Saëns, an adaptation for violin and orchestra of the sixth of the Six Etudes, Op. 52 for piano by Camille Saint Saëns. This virtuoso showpiece was an audience favorite in its day, and it has been recorded by a number of contemporary violinists, including Joshua Bell and Maxim Vengerov. An example of the flourishing Franco-Belgian violin technique of the late nineteenth century, the work is of interest to performers, listeners, and music histori- ans. It conveys the spirit and style of the belle époque, and brings together two leading musical personalities of the era–the much-venerated composer Saint-Saëns, and his younger colleague, the celebrated violinist, teacher, and composer in his own right, Eugène Ysaÿe.
Ysaÿe was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1858. He began violin studies with his father at a very early age. He went on to study with Henryk Wieniawski and later with the Belgian violinist Henri Vieuxtemps in Paris. By his early 20s Ysaÿe was making a name for himself, and he began touring extensively as a soloist throughout Europe and eventu- ally in the United States.
Ysaÿe established relationships with the major composers of the time, including Franck, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Chausson, and d’Indy. A number of important compositions were dedicated to him, including Franck’s Violin Sonata, Debussy’s String Quartet, Chausson’s Poeme, and Saint-Saëns’s String Quartet in E minor, Op. 112.
Ysaÿe was a tireless performer of new music. The Ysaÿe Quartet, which he founded in 1886, premiered a great number of works, including Debussy’s String Quartet. In
1894, he inaugurated an orchestral concert series in Brussels “for the purpose of of- fering an outlet for the works of new composers and providing employment for young musicians who had qualified at the Conservatoire.” (Ysaÿe and Ratcliff, 204) Ysaÿe conducted many of these concerts, which included new works as well as classic works by Vivaldi, Corelli, Bach, and Beethoven.
In 1918 Ysaÿe appeared as guest conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His debut was so successful that he was offered a permanent position as conductor of the orchestra. He accepted and stayed in the position until 1922, when he returned to Belgium.
By this time, Ysaÿe was turning his attention more and more to conducting, composing, and teaching, performing less as a soloist due to a deterioration in his health. In 1929 the ravages of diabetes necessitated the amputation of his right foot. Nevertheless, he continued to work, completing an opera in the Walloon language which was pre- miered in Liège a few weeks before his death in 1931.

For more information on the piece:

Read the preface to the full score / das Vorwort zur Partitur lesen > HERE

Score Data

Score No.



Repertoire Explorer


Violin & Orchestra


225 x 320 mm


Piano Reduction & Solo Violin



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