Fiona Zheng and Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra perform Pablo de Sarasate’s masterpiece Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs), Op. 20, written in 1878.
The Spanish composer Sarasate was a violin virtuoso, honored as the dedicatee of works by many peers, including Bruch, Lalo, Saint-Saëns, and Wieniawski. Zigeunerweisen was probably inspired by his 1877 Budapest visit. It was fashionable at that time to compose music based on folk tunes or having folk qualities. Zigeunerweisen uses popular Hungarian melodies, often associated with the Roma, or Gypsy, people, and is modeled on the folk dance czárdás, which begins in slow tempo and culminates in a spirited conclusion. First published for violin and piano in 1878 and then for violin and orchestra in 1881, the piece serves as a hallmark of Sarasate’s lyricism and violin virtuosity.
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