This week, Classic 107 host Michael Wolch and McNally Robinson's Andy Morton have chosen Sarasate recorded by violinist Julia Fischer and pianist Milana Chernyavska as their pick of the week.
The dazzling showpieces of violin legend Pablo de Sarasate meet their match in Julia Fischer, one of the most sought-after musicians of her generation, delivering virtuoso pyrotechnics in a stunning recital disc.
The key track is Sarasate's most celebrated composition: Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs). With its heady czardas rhythms and folk flavour, it is best known as a showpiece for violin and orchestra, but Fischer and her long-standing accompanist Milana Chernyavska present it here as it was originally written, for violin and piano. Fischer's program also includes the popular Danzas espanolas.
Designed to show off technique, these captivating pieces soon became a top choice for violin encores.
Fischer's recording will help shine a new light on Sarasates music, which she wants to restore to the concert platform. She feels that each of the pieces is a little gem with a mood and story all its own, and says that she wants to communicate the joy and enthusiasm of pieces that make people want to dance or sing.
Sarasate's contemporaries held him in extremely high regard, with Camille Saint-Saëas, Max Bruch and Edouard Lalo all dedicating works to him. He was one of the first violinists to leave acoustic recordings in the pioneering years of the 20th century, recording his Zigeunerweisen in 1904, and his extraordinary writing remains a supreme challenge to violinists over a century after his death in 1908.
Tune in to Classic 107 throughout the week as we play more tracks from Sarasate. You could win a McNally Robinson gift card for $25 just for listening!
Look for the Classic 107/McNally Robinson display at McNally Robinson Booksellers Grant Park and buy your copy of Sarasate today!