Les Sylphides for Violin & Piano, Op.18
Joseph Achron (1886-1943) was born in the Lithuanian town of Lodzdzieje (now Lazdijai). He studied violin with his father and then at the Warsaw Conservatory with Isadore Lotto and finally at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Leopold Auer, teacher of such stars as Heifetz, Milstein and many others. Achron knew Heifetz and the two became friends with Heifetz championing Achron's music. After graduation, Achron pursued a career as a soloist, concertizing throughout Russia and Europe, Palestine and America. He taught and served as director of the Kharkov Conservatory and subsequently moved to Hollywood. Throughout his life, he composed. Most of his works are for violin and piano, however, he also wrote in several other genres.
Les Sylphides dates from 1906. It is subtitled Conte Musicale or A Musical Tale. It is three sections, the quicker outer sections recall Mendelssohn with their soaring phrases, while the lyrical middle section provides a fine contrast.
This is a great recital piece for the accomplished violinist and, or course, a fine encore.