Sarasate: Virtuoso Violin Works

Sarasate: Virtuoso Violin Works

by Gil Shaham


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Sarasate: Virtuoso Violin Works

The booklet notes for this release on violinist Gil Shaham's label, Canary Classics, provide a basic overview of the Spanish violinist/composer Pablo de Sarasate, as well as information about the performers on the disc. But they don't include information on the "Sarasateada" mentioned in the disc's title. It's a Sarasate festival held in the Spanish city of Valladolid, and some of the album's tracks were recorded live there. Were the other recordings part of the festival, as well? That's unknown, but the performances hold together as a single piece of work nevertheless, and despite the presence of two different violinists, Shaham and his wife, Australian-born and -trained Adele Anthony (pictured in a soft-focus profile on the cover). You can certainly tell them apart, but there is an attractive aspect of dialogue between them, and as the final duo-violin piece "Navarra" explodes in a shower of pizzicati there's a real sense of ensemble at a virtuoso level. Both capture the elegance of Sarasate, who was the intellectual among the violin stars of the nineteenth century. He was admired by George Bernard Shaw (who wrote that he "left criticism gasping miles behind him") and name-checked by Arthur Conan Doyle in "The Red-Headed League." Shaham is especially clean in the numerous top-of-the-range passages, where Sarasate's music takes on an uncanny quality that must have appealed to the Spiritualist in Doyle. Also well worthy of note are the efforts of producer and engineer Da-Hong Seetoo, who renders Shaham's acrobatics with absolute clarity in the live performances and welds the live and studio recordings together in the mastering. The live aspect of the album is all to the good; the excitement of the audiences is genuine, and the mood carries through to the rest of the tracks. This is a good choice for an initial Sarasate purchase or for anyone following Shaham's growing career.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/29/2009
Label: Canary Classics
UPC: 0892118001075
catalogNumber: 7

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gil Shaham   Primary Artist

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