Following Paganini’s death, numerous musicians strove to assume his position as the “devil’s violinist”, but none of them were able to do so as convincingly as the Spaniard Pablo de Sarasate. His unique violin technique enthralled the public right from the start. So it was no surprise that Sarasate composed highly virtuosic pieces for his own use. Composed in 1877, the “Gypsy Airs” are in the form of a broadly conceived Hungarian Csárdás, exhibiting all of the refinement of breakneck violin playing. They still present a challenge to all great violinists. We were able to win over a modernday sorcerer of the violin for our Urtext edition: Ingolf Turban, who provided fingerings and bowings.
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Pablo de Sarasate (1844–1908) was born in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona as the son of a military band master. He began playing the violin as a five year old, and made such quick progress that at the age of twelve he was accepted into the class of Jean-Delphin Alard at the Paris Conservatoire, where just a year later he was awarded first prize in the violin … more
About the composer
Pablo de Sarasate
A violinist and composer from Spain. During his childhood he already rose to become a celebrated virtuoso whose precise playing was described as brilliant and having a beautiful tonal quality. He was the dedicatee of world-famous violin concerti including Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 2, op. 44. He himself wrote works for orchestra, including fantasies on operatic themes, as well as salon and chamber music. His musical language is characterized by folk elements.
|1844||Born in Pamplona on March 10. His father, the director of a military band, fosters his musical education. A child prodigy, he makes his debut as a violinist at approximately eight years of age. He studies in Madrid with Manuel Rodríquez.|
|1856||With the support of the Spanish court he studies violin at the Paris Conservatoire under Jean-Delphin Alard and harmony with Napoléon-Henri Reber.|
|1857||He is awarded the Conservatoire’s first prize in violin.|
|1858||He wins the Conservatoire’s first prize in harmony.|
|from 1860||Up to 200 concerts per year take him throughout Europe, Russia, the United States, and South America. His repertoire includes the violin concerti of Beethoven and Mendelssohn. He also increasingly focuses on chamber music.|
|1908||Dies in Biarritz on September 20.|