Sarasate Plays Sarasate

As the saying goes, when you’re good, you’re good. And few, if any, were better at the game of violin playing than Pablo de Sarasate.

The Spanish violinist, whose professional career spanned nearly half a century, was known in his day for coaxing a pure, singing tone from his instrument and for his direct and tasteful musical expression. Today, Sarasate is known as the composer of any number of violin works, and as the dedicatee of some of the violin repertoire’s most substantial contributions. Camille Saint-Saens, Henryk Wieniawski, Max Bruch and Eduard Lalo were just a few composers inspired enough by Sarasate’s playing to compose major works for him.

In 1904, thanks to the marvels of “modern” audio recording technology, Sarasate had a chance to make a few recordings. Above is his recording of (most of) his own Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Melodies).