Violinists visiting Max Bruch to play him his 1st Violin Concerto (the violin concerto, though he wrote three) were chased away by the composer, who shouted that he had written a lot more than just that. The great success of this delightful piece has cast a shadow over his other music. And those who know the work – or hear it for the first time – understand only too well why, for it is rightly one of the most popular of allromantic violin concertos. However, Bruch another work for violin and orchestra which is perhaps even more special. For the soloist it is technically more more difficult than the 1st Violin Concerto, and it is a free fantasy rather than a traditional threemovement concerto. It is the Scottish Fantasy op. 46 for violin and orchestra (1880), written for the legendary virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate, a Spaniard who spent his entire life in France. Shortly before, Edouard Lalo had composed his exotic and daredevil Symphonie Espagnole (1875) for De Sarasate. This is another strange mixture of symphony, solo concerto and suite. Bruch hesitated to use the title fantasy’, since this is usually a rather short piece in free form, while he had written a considerable work lasting half an hour, with a range of contrasting moodsDownload booklet
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