About the album
Heinz Holliger’s Violin Concerto, subtitled “Hommage à Louis Soutter”, is a musical portrait of the innovative Swiss painter who began his artistic career as a violinist, studying with the great Eugène Ysaÿe . Arguing that his painterly activity was an extension of his playing, Holliger “translates” Soutter’s agitated brushstrokes into pitches. Soutter’s troubled relationship to Ysaÿe is one of the concerto’s conceptual themes, as is the militant pacifism that found expression in his canvasses. In all, a fascinating, highly-detailed work, played with fiery intensity by Thomas Zehetmair, whose account of Ysaÿe’s third sonata – astonishing in its own right - becomes here a highly effective ‘foreword’ to the Holliger composition, laying bare one of its inspirational sources.