By Greg Cahill | From the July-August 2022 issue of Strings magazine
In the hands of a skilled Baroque specialist, the descending ostinato in the prelude of Biber’s Passacaglia in G minor (also known as “The Guardian Angel” from the Rosary Sonatas) is given a distinctly broken pulse, a repeated pattern that underscores the celestial melody. Modern violinists often accentuate the lyrical side of this Passacaglia; the London-based French violinist Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux “gets” the ostinato and allows this seminal 1676 mediation to breathe through deftly controlled bow strokes. It’s a beautiful, yet powerful, interpretation of a piece that has gained popularity in the past 20 years.
Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux, violin
The Biber Passacaglia opens Saluste-Bridoux’s impressive debut album, Ostinata, which explores such other technically challenging and virtuoso solo-violin repertoire as Bartók’s Sonata for Solo Violin, Prokofiev’s Sonata in D major, Bacewicz’s Sonata No. 2, and Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 4 in E minor, Op. 27—all as satisfying as the Biber. This debut heralds a promising young artist capable of artfully delivering the visceral sound demanded by soaring solo showpieces—her reading of the Ysaÿe is breathtaking.
Saluste-Bridoux was a prizewinner at the 2021 YCAT International Auditions in partnership with Concert Artists Guild (New York). Her recent highlights include appearances at Wigmore Hall, a BBC Prom with the dynamic 12 Ensemble (a string collective of world-class chamber musicians), and a performance of the Franck Piano Quintet at the Gstaadt Festival with violinist Alina Ibragimova, violist Lawrence Power, cellist Sol Gabetta, and pianist Bertrand Chamayou. She plays on a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin.