Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs), Op 20

Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs), Op 20

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Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs, Spanish: Aires gitanos), Op. 20, is a musical composition for violin and orchestra written in 1878 by the Spanish composer Pablo de Sarasate. It was premiered the same year in Leipzig, Germany. It is based on themes of the Roma people, and in the last section the rhythms of the csárdás; this section uses a theme previously used in Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 13, composed in 1847.

As one of Sarasate's most popular compositions and a favorite among violin virtuosos, the work has remained a staple on records at least since Sarasate himself recorded it in 1904, in collaboration with fellow composer Juan Manén as the accompanying pianist in the aforementioned recording, although the 3rd movement was omitted due to time constraints of records. Sarasate's voice is briefly heard in the middle of the record. Before the thunderous 4th movement, the following sentence can be heard: "Abajo el pedal de la sordina". It has been recorded by a large number of violinists.


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