When composing his Spanish Dances (HN 1370), the composer and violin virtuoso Sarasate united existing material – folk songs and songs by well-known composers – with his own uniquely charming musical language. The two Dances op. 22, “Romanza andaluza” and “Jota Navarra”, were completed in 1878 during Sarasate’s first concert tour through Scandinavia. After their initial performances, the lyrical “Romanza” soon outstripped its brilliant sister piece in popularity, and thereafter it was one of Sarasate’s compositions that he played most often himself. Since then, this piece has lost nothing of its charm, and it is now available as a stand-alone edition in the Henle catalogue.
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In 1877, during his first concert tour through Germany, Pablo de Sarasate (1844 – 1908) got to know the German publisher Fritz Simrock, who commissioned him to write a set of Spanish dances. Simrock, who had begun pub- lishing a series of European folk dances a few years earlier with the Ungarische Tänze by Johannes Brahms (1869), had recognised the potential of … 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.|