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Sarasate Plays Premiere

A Minute with Miles
Mary Noble Ours
/
SC Public Radio

Today is the second of January, and on this date in 1881, the Spanish violinist Pablo de Sarasate was in Paris to play the premiere of the Violin Concerto No. 3 by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Now perhaps that doesn’t strike you as the most important event in music history. But suppose I also told you that in 1875 Sarasate had been in Paris to play the premiere of the Symphonie Espagnole by Édouard Lalo; that in 1878 he’d played the premiere of Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 2; and that not only were the Saint-Saëns, the Lalo, and the Bruch all written for him, so too were the Bruch Scottish Fantasy, the Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and the Wieniawski Violin Concerto No. 2. Pablo de Sarasate, in other words, was a critical figure in the history of the 19 th century violin concerto, a brilliant virtuoso whose astonishing abilities inspired the composition of great and lasting works.

I’m Miles Hoffman, and this has been A Minute with Miles – a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.