The National Origins of the Creative Work of Eugene Ysaye and the Influence of Belgian Artists in the Formation of a Distinct Performing and Composing Style

  • Kateryna Nazarenko Postgraduate Student, Lviv National Music Academy named after Mykola Lysenko, Lviv (Ukraine).
Keywords: Eugene Ysaÿe, Belgian national culture, folklorisme, Cesar Frank, traditions of professional music, Wallonie opera, Belgian violin school.


The article examines the work of a prominent Belgian violinist and composer, E. Ysaÿe, as a representative of Belgian national culture in several different aspects: the incorporation of folklore in his music, his expertise of the Belgian violin school, his life as a follower of C. Franсk, and his role in the wide field of Belgium's artistic and cultural traditions.
Folklore is manifested through modal combinations, biphonic and polyphonic layers, the use of parallelisms, in which the author unites anhemitonic and chromatic scales, tone-splitting, etc. E. Ysaye, demonstrates ethnic intensity in ―Village Dance‖, ―Aurora‖ from Sonata No. 5, the Finale from Sonata No. 1 , Mazurkas, Sonatas for 2 solo violins, the symphonic work "Nostalgia", and the opera "Pierre Rudocop". Сomposer is inspired by folk techniques, methods of sound production, types of bowings, rubato, and the use of primitive forms of polyphony- bourdon and ostinato, which are presented in a striking variety by Ysaÿe. Тhe enthusiasm for playing violin folk music, obviously contributed to the creation of a new modern school of violin technique in the twentieth century.
In the traditions of Belgian professional music, nationalism manifested itself in the revival of choral music, re-examining the polyphonic techniques of ancient masters (under the influence of C. Franck), in particular, the Franco-Flemish school and Belgian organ school use canonic-imitation, allusions of linear thinking, and medieval mensural notation (2nd movement of Sonata No. 2). The artist also contributed to the growth of Belgian music in the Wallonie culture, of which the famous representative, C. Franck, was born, and his devoted student, E. Ysaÿe, became the author of the only opera in the Wallonie language, "Pierre-Rudokop". Interesting and fruitful are E. Ysaÿe’s connections with the Belgian symbolists M. Metterlink and E. Verharn, evident through the lyrics of the poetic cycle in the ―London‖ trio.
In the realm of violin performance - as the direct follower and disciple of the prominent violinist H.Vieuxtemps. Recently discovered violin concertos of the composer, the first of which is dedicated to H.Vieuxtemps, as well as other original works, and grandiose performances, attest to Eugene Ysaÿe’s striking representation of the Belgian national culture.


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How to Cite
Nazarenko, K. (2019). The National Origins of the Creative Work of Eugene Ysaye and the Influence of Belgian Artists in the Formation of a Distinct Performing and Composing Style. Scientific Collections of the Lviv National Music Academy Named After MV Lysenko, (45), 224-247. Retrieved from