Carmen, the inspiration for Carmen Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra
March 10, 2020
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 composed exclusively for piano. Sarasate 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, with flair and fire, just like the temptress herself.
Gil Shaham performs the finale of the Carmen Fantasy with the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Claudio Abbado.
Pablo Sarasate was born March 10, 1844 in Pamplona, Spain, and died September 20, 1908, in Biarritz, France.