George Bernard Shaw once remarked that although there are many composers of music for the violin, there are only a few composers of violin music. But where Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908) is concerned, Shaw declared that the Spanish musician's talents as both a performer and composer "left criticism gasping miles behind him." Famous for his fiery, forceful, and passionate playing, Sarasate was equally renowned for the sweetness and purity of his tone and his impeccable technique. As a composer steeped in the colorful music of his native land, he was well known for his many violin works inspired by Spanish airs and dances, written to display the instrument's capabilitie
Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25, is Sarasate's much-loved violin fantasy based on Bizet's Carmen. It includes excerpts of different movements from the Carmen suite, including the familiar Habanera and opening movement. Sarasate's popular arrangement and variations on the opera's themes are staples of the violin repertoire. This full-score version stands as the most affordable available, and it offers both performers and listeners extra insights into a celebrated work.