Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pablo Sarasate

Pablo de Sarasate (Pablo Martín Melitón de Sarasate y Navascués) was a Spanish violinist and composer born on March 10, 1844 (Mendelssohn was 35 years old). His first studies were with his father at age five. At age eight, he performed in public for the first time. At twelve, he entered the Paris Conservatory where he studied with Alard (son-in-law of Vuillaume) and others. His Paris debut took place in 1860 and he henceforth concertized around the world. Several works in the standard violin repertoire were either composed or dedicated to him. Many works which he composed for the violin are also in the standard repertoire and will probably hold their place there forever. Practically every article on him affirms that he was an outstanding, virtuoso violinist. In a brief interview, the Hungarian violinist, Tivadar Nachez, relates how Sarasate twice forgot passages in the third Saint Saens concerto (which had been dedicated to him) while playing a concert performance at which Nachez was present. Nachez also stated that Sarasate did not know how to properly play Bach. There are a few recordings of his available (made toward the end of this career.) Sarasate died in September, 1908, at age 64. 

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