Pablo de Sarasate

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Pablo Sarasate
Sarasate.gif
Pablo de Sarasate
Background information
Birth namePablo Martín Melitón de Sarasate y Navascués
Born(1844-03-10)10 March 1844
Spain Pamplona, Spain
Died20 September 1908(1908-09-20) (aged 64)
France Biarritz, France
GenresClassical
OccupationsComposer, conductor, violinist
Years active1852–1904
Notable instruments
Violin
Boissier Stradivarius 1713
Sarasate Stradivarius 1724
 
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Pablo Sarasate
Sarasate.gif
Pablo de Sarasate
Background information
Birth namePablo Martín Melitón de Sarasate y Navascués
Born(1844-03-10)10 March 1844
Spain Pamplona, Spain
Died20 September 1908(1908-09-20) (aged 64)
France Biarritz, France
GenresClassical
OccupationsComposer, conductor, violinist
Years active1852–1904
Notable instruments
Violin
Boissier Stradivarius 1713
Sarasate Stradivarius 1724

Pablo Martín Melitón de Sarasate y Navascués (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpaβlo saɾaˈsate]; 10 March 1844 – 20 September 1908) was a Spanish violinist and composer of the Romantic period.

Career[edit]

Pablo Sarasate was born in Pamplona, Navarre, the son of an artillery bandmaster. He began studying the violin with his father at the age of five and later took lessons from a local teacher. His musical talent became evident early on and he appeared in his first public concert in A Coruña at the age of eight. His performance was well-received, and caught the attention of a wealthy patron who provided the funding for Sarasate to study under Manuel Rodríguez Saez in Madrid, where he gained the favor of Queen Isabella II. Later, as his abilities developed, he was sent to study under Jean-Delphin Alard at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of twelve. There, at seventeen, Sarasate entered a competition for the Premier Prix and won his first prize, the Conservatoire's highest honour. (There was not another Spanish violinist to achieve this until Manuel Quiroga did so in 1911; Quiroga was frequently compared to Sarasate throughout his career.)

Sarasate, who had been publicly performing since childhood, made his Paris debut as a concert violinist in 1860, and played in London the following year. Over the course of his career, he toured many parts of the world, performing in Europe, North America, and South America. His artistic pre-eminence was due principally to the purity of his tone, which was free from any tendency towards the sentimental or rhapsodic, and to that impressive facility of execution that made him a virtuoso. In his early career, Sarasate performed mainly opera fantasies, most notably the Carmen Fantasy, and various other pieces that he had composed. The popularity of Sarasate's Spanish flavour in his compositions is reflected in the work of his contemporaries. For example, the influences of Spanish music can be heard in such notable works as Édouard Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole which was dedicated to Sarasate; Georges Bizet's Carmen; and Camille Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, written expressly for Sarasate and dedicated to him.

Of Sarasate's idiomatic writing for his instrument, the playwright and music critic George Bernard Shaw once declared that though there were many composers of music for the violin, there were but few composers of violin music. Of Sarasate's talents as performer and composer, Shaw said that he "left criticism gasping miles behind him." Sarasate's own compositions are mainly show-pieces designed to demonstrate his exemplary technique. Perhaps the best known of his works is Zigeunerweisen (1878), a work for violin and orchestra. Another piece, the Carmen Fantasy (1883), also for violin and orchestra, makes use of themes from Georges Bizet's opera Carmen. Probably his most performed encores are his two books of Spanish dances, brief pieces designed to please the listener's ear and show off the performer's talent. He also made arrangements of a number of other composers' work for violin, and composed sets of variations on "potpourris" drawn from operas familiar to his audiences, such as his Fantasia on La forza del destino (his Opus 1), his "Souvenirs of Faust", or his variations on themes from Die Zauberflöte. In 1904 he made a small number of recordings. In all his travels Sarasate returned to Pamplona each year for the San Fermín festival.[1]

The familiar figure of Sarasate caricatured as a "Man of the Day" for Vanity Fair, 1889

Sarasate died in Biarritz, France on September 20, 1908 from chronic bronchitis. He bequeathed his violin, made by Antonio Stradivari in 1724, to the Musée de la Musique. The violin now bears his name as the Sarasate Stradivarius in his memory. His second Stradivari violin, the Boissier of 1713, is now owned by Real Conservatorio Superior de Música, Madrid. Among his violin pupils was Alfred De Sève. The Pablo Sarasate International Violin Competition is held in Pamplona.

A number of works for violin were dedicated to Sarasate, including Henryk Wieniawski's Violin Concerto No. 2, Édouard Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole, Camille Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3 and his Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy, and Alexander Mackenzie's Pibroch Suite. Also inspired by Sarasate is William H. Potstock's Souvenir de Sarasate.

Appearance in other art forms[edit]

List of compositions[3][edit]

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Performed by Carrie Rehkopf

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Performed by Roxana Pavel Goldstein and Elias Goldstein (violins) with the Depaul Symphony (Chicago) conducted by Cliff Colnot

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OpusCompositionInstrumentation
Fantasia capriccioViolin and piano
Los pájaros de ChileViolin and piano
Souvenir de FaustViolin and piano
1Fantasy on La forza del destinoViolin and piano
2Homenaje a RossiniViolin and piano
3La dame blanche de BoieldieuViolin and orchestra
4RéverieViolin and piano
5Fantasy on Roméo et JulietteViolin and piano
6Caprice on MireilleViolin and piano
7ConfidencesViolin and piano
8Souvenir de DomontViolin and piano
9Les AdieuxViolin and piano
10Sérénade AndalouseViolin and piano
11Le sommeilViolin and piano
12MoscovienneViolin and piano
13New Fantasy on FaustViolin and orchestra
14Fantasy on Der FreischützViolin and orchestra
15Mosaíque de ZampaViolin and piano
16Gavota on MignonViolin and piano
17Priére at BerceuseViolin and piano
18Airs espagnolsViolin and piano
19Fantasy on MarthaViolin and piano
20ZigeunerweisenViolin and orchestra
21Malagueña y HabaneraViolin and piano
22Romanza andaluza y jota navarraViolin and piano
23Playera y zapateadoViolin and piano
24Capricho vascoViolin and piano
25Fantasy on CarmenViolin and orchestra
26Vito y habaneraViolin and piano
27Jota aragonesaViolin and piano
28Serenata andaluzaViolin and piano
29El canto del ruiseñorViolin and orchestra
30BoleroViolin and piano
31BaladaViolin and piano
32MuñeiraViolin and orchestra
33NavarraViolin and orchestra
34Airs ÉcossaisViolin and orchestra
35Fantasía en sapo ReinaViolin and piano
36Jota de San FermínViolin and piano
37Zortzico Adiós montañas míasViolin and piano
38Viva Sevilla!Violin and orchestra
39Zortzico de IparraguirreViolin and piano
40Introduction et fandango variéViolin and piano
41Introduction et caprice-jotaViolin and orchestra
42Zortzico MiramarViolin and orchestra
43Introduction et tarantelleViolin and orchestra
44La chaseViolin and orchestra
45Nocturno — SerenataViolin and orchestra
46Gondoliéra VenezianaViolin and piano
47Melodía rumanaViolin and piano
48L'Esprit FolletViolin and orchestra
49Canciones rusasViolin and orchestra
50Jota de PamplonaViolin and orchestra
51Fantasy on Don GiovanniViolin and piano
52Jota de PabloViolin and orchestra
53La RèveViolin and piano
54Fantasy on The Magic FluteViolin and orchestra

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Zdenko Silvela,A New History Of Violin Playing 2001:199.
  2. ^ Originally published in Burgess' The Devil's Mode (Random House, 1989). Reprinted 2009 in The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, ed. John Joseph Adams (San Francisco: Night Shade Books [ISBN 978-1-61523-551-3, ISBN 978-1-59780-160-7])
  3. ^ Catalogue of Works

External links[edit]

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.