An impressively assured recording debut from a violinist to watch

Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux: Ostinata: Works for Solo Violin

The Strad Issue: July 2022

Description: An impressively assured recording debut from a violinist to watch

Musicians: Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux (violin)

Works: Biber: Passacaglia in G minor ‘The Guardian Angel’. Bartók: Sonata Sz.117. Prokofiev: Sonata in D major op.115. Bacewicz: Sonata no.2. Ysaÿe: Sonata no.4 in E minor op.27

Catalogue number: CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD 158

Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux opens this solo violin CD with Biber’s Passacaglia in a spare, contemplative performance with only a light touch of vibrato. She is precise but rhythmically quite free. The opening G minor chord of Bartók’s Solo Sonata that follows could be a straight continuation of Biber, leading into a first movement of similar measured pace and controlled emotion. For all the fireworks and superbly executed technical devilry, there is a feeling here of essential calm, which is shattered by the vehemence of the following Fuga, played with textural clarity and a great sense of line. The Melodia is other-worldly, exquisite and inexorable, and the light scurrying of the final Presto is sharply contrasted with the brutal fortissimo dance interjections.

Saluste-Bridoux kicks off the opening Moderato of Prokofiev’s Solo Sonata with crisp, jaunty playing, flicking the appoggiaturas with insouciance and bringing sultry elegance to the second subject. There is fine lyrical playing in the second-movement variations and sparkling caprice in the finale. The mysterious world of Bacewicz’s Second Solo Sonata is full of fine detail, at times fierce and assertive, at others probing, and she dashes splendidly through the helter-skelter double-stopped finale. Ysaÿe’s Fourth Sonata is a wonderful mixture of technical rigour and emotional flexibility, with Saluste-Bridoux bringing lyrical flow and tonal beauty to even the most complex passages of multiple-stopping. The recording is close, with just enough ambient warmth.