Sarasate (y Navascué), Pablo (Martin Melitón) de

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Sarasate (y Navascué), Pablo (Martin Melitón) de

Sarasate (y Navascuéz), Pablo (Martin MelitÓn) de, celebrated Spanish violinist and composer; b. Pamplona, March 10, 1844; d. Biarritz, Sept. 20, 1908. He commenced playing the violin when he was 5, and after making his public debut at age 8, he was granted a private scholarship to study with M. Sáez in Madrid. With the assistance of Queen Isabella, he pursued his studies with Alard at the Paris Cons. (from 1856), where he took premiers prix in violin and solfège (1857) and in harmony (1859). He launched his career as a virtuoso with a major concert tour when he was 15. In 1866 he acquired a Stradivarius violin. His playing was noted for its extraordinary beauty of tone, impeccable purity of intonation, perfection of technique, and grace of manner. In the early years of his career, his repertoire consisted almost exclusively of fantasies on operatic airs, most of which he arranged himself. He later turned to the masterpieces of the violin literature. His tours, extending through all of Europe, North and South America, South Africa, and the Orient, were an uninterrupted succession of triumphs. He bequeathed to his native city the gifts that had been showered upon him by admirers throughout the world; the collection was placed in a special museum. Among the works written for him were Bruch’s second Concerto and Scottish Fantasy, Lalo’s Concerto and Symphonie espagnole, Saint-Saëns’s first and third concertos and Introduction et Rondo capriccioso, and Wieniawski’s second Concerto. Sarasate’s compositions, pleasing and effective, include his Zigeunerweisen (1878), Spanische Tänze (4 books, 1878–82), and Carmen fantasy (1883).


L. Zarate, S. (Barcelona, 1945); A. Sagardia, P. S. (Palencia, 1956); L. Iberni, P. S. (Madrid, 1994).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Sarasate (y Navascué), Pablo (Martin Melitón) de

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