I will start with a confession: I am in love with the German violinist Julia Fischer. Be reassured, it is a strictly platonic thing, but nevertheless: I am full of admiration for her talent, amazed about her musical career, captivated by her words whenever she gives interviews and I am certainly not the only man on earth struck by her natural beauty. This said, I had the chance to hear a brilliant performance by Mrs. Fischer in Zurich (Switzerland) a few months ago and my memories focus on that joy she radiated when she played. And joy is today’s keyword!
Do you want to pep up a neighbourhood party? Or may be have some fun late in the evening in your garden? Or feel like dancing alone at home? Either way, this record should be your choice: “Sarasate” featuring Julia Fischer (violin) and Milana Chernyavska (piano). You fill find Spanish dances and gypsy melodies like you haven’t heard them before. This is joy, this is life, this is happiness. Listen to this. And start dancing!
“Sarasate” refers to Pablo de Sarasate, a Spanish violinist and composer who lived between 1844 and 1908. His talent and his early musical education proved fruitful as he soon became a musician at the court of Queen Isabella II. The often performed “Gypsy Melodies”, op. 20, go back to 1878 and have their roots in traditional gypsy songs much like Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsodies”. My favourites on this record however are Danzas Españolas, op. 26: No. 2, Habanera as well as Jota Aragonesa, op. 27 and finally Serenata Andaluza, op. 28. You can feel the joy Mrs. Fischer felt when she recorded these songs as much as I felt the joy she had playing in Lucerne. It’s highly contagious! And, by the way, Sarasate is an excellent antidote if you suffer from too much of Schubert.
Samples available at Decca Classics: http://www.deccaclassics.com/de/cat/4785950
© Charles Thibo