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March 10 – Birthday of The Ultimate Violin Virtuoso, Sarasate

March 10 – Birthday of The Ultimate Violin Virtuoso, Sarasate featured image

Carmen, the inspiration for Carmen Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra


Pablo de Sarasate grew up an amazingly gifted violin prodigy and soloist, known for his purity of tone and technical brilliance. Luckily, he composed and left behind a wealth of violin repertoire, composing exclusively for violin (with piano or orchestra accompaniment) much in the same manner Chopin composer exclusively for piano. He included the music of his country in his works, and the Spanish sound influenced composers Lalo, Bizet, and Saint-Saens.

The Carmen Fantasy was based on Bizet’s opera, and it’s so exciting and full of so much flashy bowing it leaves the audience (and soloist) in a sweaty frenzy. It’s a perfect treatment of Carmen: daring, flair, and fire, just like the temptress herself.

Here’s Sarah Chang performing “Carmen Fantasy” with the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by one of the former members of “The Three Tenors”, Placido Domingo.

Pablo Sarasate was born March 10, 1844 in Pamplona, Spain, and died September 20, 1908, in Biarritz, France.

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