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At the close of the 19th century, the Belgian Eugène Ysaÿe was considered supreme among violin virtuosos and a model for the emerging generation of Kreisler, Szigeti, and Enescu. A pupil of Henri Vieuxtemps, Ysaÿe settled in Paris in 1882 and proceeded to dominate Parisian musical life, receiving the dedications of Franck's Violin Sonata, Chausson's Poème, and Debussy's String Quartet, among many other works.

Ysaÿe's own compositions ranged from visionary works for unaccompanied violin to dazzling showpieces for violin and orchestra, such as this Caprice, a tour de force arrangement of the sixth of Saint-Saëns' Op. 52 Etudes for piano.

- John Henken