Erin Aldridge performing with the College of St. Benedict’s and St. John’s University Orchestra


Selected Recordings

"With no connection to machines, violinist and concertmaster Erin Aldridge joined (Betsy) Husby for an emotional performance of the Brahms concerto. For true musicality, this luscious, demanding work was the centerpiece of the evening. Aldridge and Husby created an intensely intimate dialog. The orchestra added its power, but the real emotion came from these two impassioned women. They set the pace, kept the melodies rich and longing, and frolicked away the gypsy finale. Shouts of brava! resounded after this ecstatic performance...."  - Samuel Black, Duluth News Tribune

Sonata No. 2 in A Minor “Thibaud” Movement I: Obsession

Sonata No. 5 in G Major “Crickboom” Movement II: Danse Rustique

Sonata No. 6 in E Major “Quiroga”

"Darkness Cover Me", from the Winter Wanderings album by Duluth-based,

award-winning singer/songwriter,

Sara Thomsen

Sonata No. 2 is the one that gave Ysaÿe the most trouble of the six. He was so overwhelmed by Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas that he nearly stopped composing the six sonatas altogether. In the immediate aftermath of using Bach as his inspiration in the first sonata, he felt as though Bach’s influence was so overpowering that he was unable to compose his own music. His solution was to incorporate several sections of Bach’s Partita No. 3 in E Major into the first movement of this sonata. In addition, the twists, turns, and deceptive cadences that make this sonata so unpredictable, are an excellent sketch of Jacques Thibaud’s personality. Ysaÿe also quotes the Dies Irae (“Day of Wrath”) throughout all four movements which conceivably translate to Ysaÿe’s obsession with his own mortality.


The first movement, titled “Obsession”, uses the Dies Irae quite extensively. This movement is an example of Ysaÿe’s talent for intricate writing and use of string crossings.


The fifth sonata stands out because of Ysaÿe’s use of harmonic language akin to Claude Debussy. He quotes two of Debussy’s pieces, the String Quartet in G Major and “Sirènes” from Nocturne No. 3. Both Ysaÿe and Crickboom played together for years in the Ysaÿe Quartet and gave the premier of Debussy’s String Quartet.


The second movement, Danse Rustique (“Country Dance”) is an interpretation of Belgian folk dance, serving as an homage to fellow countryman Crickboom. The opening is very strong rhythmically and exploits the perfect fourth and fifth intervals. As the movement progresses, the theme and mood of the first movement returns, but not for long. Ysaÿe returns to the folk dance and concludes the movement with a final flourishing scale, the same scale that concludes the Debussy Quartet.


Ysaÿe was particularly taken with Manuel Quiroga’s virtuosity and his flair for the Spanish musical tradition, a style which Quiroga may have inherited from famed Spanish violinist, Pablo de Sarasate. The youngest of the six dedicatees, Quiroga represented a bravura style of playing that made him a favorite with audiences around the world. This bravura style is very evident in this particular work.


The sixth sonata is the most technically-demanding and virtuosic of all of the sonatas. Quiroga’s extraordinary technique is one of the driving influences of this sonata. The sixth sonata further distinguishes itself with Spanish flair, intended as an homage to Quiroga’s native Spain.


Notes on Ysaÿe by Dr. Erin Aldridge.

Aaron Copland Violin Sonata (Movement I: Andante simplice)  Music from the 2015 Indiana University Summer Music Festival.


Erin Aldridge, violin; Ilya Friedberg, piano

Aaron Copland Violin Sonata (Movement III: Allegretto guisto)  Music from the 2015 Indiana University Summer Music Festival.


Erin Aldridge, violin; Ilya Friedberg, piano



Erin Aldridge: Yasaye Six Sonatas for Solo Violin

Somewhere to Begin by

Sara Thomsen

Winter Wanderings by Sara Thomsen and Paula Pederson

One Voice by the Three Altos

Constellations: The Compositions of Justin Rubin

© 2017 Dr. Erin Aldridge. All rights reserved.