Performance Wednesday, January 21, 2015 | 7:30 PM

Kristóf Baráti

Weill Recital Hall
Bach wrote six works for unaccompanied violin, but the Partita No. 2 is especially memorable for its emotionally intense Chaconne movement. When Ysaÿe heard legendary Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti perform Bach’s sonatas, he was inspired to write his own. In his inventive A-Minor Sonata, he paraphrases Bach and also serves up a daring version of the Dies Irae, the Latin chant for the dead. Bartók’s sonata, the last work he completed before his death, was commissioned by the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

Part of Salon Encores.


  • Kristóf Baráti, Violin


  • YSAŸE Solo Violin Sonata in A Minor, Op. 27, No. 2
  • YSAŸE Solo Violin Sonata in D Minor, Op. 27, No. 3, "Ballade"
  • BACH Partita for Solo Violin No. 2 in D Minor
  • BARTÓK Solo Violin Sonata

  • Encores:
  • PAGANINI Caprice No. 1 in E Major
  • BACH Largo from Harpsichord Concerto No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1056

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Kristóf Baráti

    Kristóf Baráti was born in Budapest, Hungary, but spent a large part of his childhood in Venezuela. He began his violin studies at the age of five and made his first solo performances with the leading Venezuelan orchestras at the age of eight.

    His studies continued in Budapest at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. During this period, he won first prize at the Rodolfo Lipizer International Violin Competition in Italy and second prize at the Long-Thibaud-Crespin International Violin Competition in Paris. In 1997, he won third prize at the highly prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels, being the youngest finalist. After this success, he redefined his violin technique with Eduard Wulfson, whose knowledge was influenced by great 20th century violinists such as Nathan Milstein, Yehudi Menuhin, and Henryk Szeryng. In 2010, Mr. Baráti won the highly prestigious International Violin Competition Premio Paganini in Moscow.

    Mr. Baráti performs in important concert halls and with major orchestras around the world, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Russian National Orchestra, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, and North German Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has also collaborated with many important conductors, including Kurt Masur, Marek Janowski, Charles Dutoit, Jiří Bělohlávek, Gilbert Varga, Iván Fischer, Yuri Temirkanov, Pinchas Steinberg, and Jukka-Pekka Saraste. In 2009 and 2010, he recorded the first two Paganini concertos and Bach's complete music for solo violin, and his recording of Beethoven's complete sonatas for violin and piano was released by Brilliant Classics in 2012. In 2013, he released a recording of Ysaÿe's solo sonatas, and his recording of the three Brahms violin sonatas was released in 2014.

    Mr. Baráti has been recognized with a Kossuth Prize, the most prestigious award in the domain of culture in his native Hungary. He plays the 1703 "Lady Harmsworth" violin made by Antonio Stradivari, kindly offered by the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

    More Info


Ysaÿe's Solo Violin Sonata in D Minor, Op. 27, No. 3, "Ballade"
Kristóf Baráti, Violin
Brilliant Classics

At a Glance

EUGÈNE YSAŸE  Solo Violin Sonata in A Minor, Op. 27, No. 2; Solo Violin Sonata in D Minor, Op. 27, No. 3, “Ballade”

Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe was renowned for his purity of tone, liquid phrasing, and seemingly effortless virtuosity, which he displayed in a series of sonatas inspired by Bach’s solo violin works. Both the A-Minor Sonata, with its “obsessive” repetition of a seven-note motif drawn from the famous Dies Irae chant, and the lyrical but no less demanding “Ballade” Sonata fully exploit the violin’s technical and expressive resources.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH  Partita for Solo Violin No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004

A magisterial compendium of compositional styles and instrumental techniques, Bach’s six sonatas and partitas for unaccompanied violin have delighted listeners—and challenged performers—ever since their rediscovery in the mid-1800s. The three partitas share a standard layout, that of the Italian sonata da camera (“chamber sonata”), consisting of a series of stylized dance movements. Often played on its own, the Ciaccona of the D-Minor Partita is one of Bach’s grandest and most famous conceptions.

BÉLA BARTÓK  Solo Violin Sonata, BB 124

One of Bartók’s last works, the Solo Violin Sonata was commissioned by the young Yehudi Menuhin, who premiered it at Carnegie Hall in late 1944. Like Ysaÿe, Bartók took his cue from Bach’s sonatas and partitas in creating a richly expressive and grippingly virtuosic work that abounds in musical ideas.

Program Notes
Distinctive Debuts is supported, in part, by endowment gifts from The Lizabeth and Frank Newman Charitable Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
This performance is part of Distinctive Debuts.

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