Op. 32 (Gypsy Airs)
Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908)
(Arranged for Marimba by Harold Firestone)
Pablo Martín Melitón de Sarasate y Navascués , better known as Pablo de Sarasate, when he became famous, was the pinnacle of 19th-century “fiddledom”.
He started violin lessons at five, gave his first public performance at eight, and rocketed past the best local teachers so quickly that he was sent to the Paris Conservatoire for further instruction. Queen Isabella presented him with a Stradivarius violin and personally authorized the subsidy of his expenses! In 1859 he set off on tours of Europe, Africa, North and South America and the Orient that made him one of the foremost musicians of his time.
Paganini was noted for his flamboyant technical wizardry and emotional exuberance whereas Sarasate was famed for his elegance, precision, apparent ease of execution and his stream of beautiful sound.
To appeal to Eastern exoticism of the German and Austrian musical appetites of the day, Sarasate composed a concert work for violin and piano in 1878 based on Hungarian melodies that he titled “Zigeunerweisen”(Gypsy Airs.) The closing section of the piece is a blazing dance in the most brilliant Gypsy manner energized by an entire fusillade of pyrotechnics.
Hearing this piece lead to my fascination of the challenge to perform this last section as a marimba solo with piano accompanist, arranged by my first teacher, Harold Firestone.
Jack Bell – Performance of Zigeunerweisen
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Op. 32 (Gypsy Airs) Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908) (Arranged for Marimba by Harold Firestone)
Violin part to Zigeunerweisen