Classical Music You Must Know . . .

Symphonie espagnole, for violin and orchestra in D-, Op.21, by Édouard Lalo

Click on the album cover to listen now

With this post, Classical Archives is starting a series of posts about great classical works that every music-lover should know.

Why are we starting this series of posts with this work, which is essentially a five-movement concerto for violin and orchestra by the French composer Édouard Lalo, who lived from 1823-1892? You might be wondering why we chose not to launch this series of posts with an ultra-popular work like Beethoven’s Fifth or Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Edouard Lalo

We have our reasons. The first is that a certain number of classical music lovers might not know this work. Also, Symphonie espagnole is not only a masterpiece, but a completely unique work. Although it has a Spanish flavor, it stands on its own by avoiding all self-conscious Spanish clichés and mannerisms. It was composed for the Spanish violin virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate, who first performed it in Paris in 1875. Over the years, virtually every leading violin virtuoso has performed it, many of them making it a staple of their concert repertoire.

For our post today, we have chosen a definitive performance by Jascha Heifetz, who was a leading exponent of the work. He is joined by the RCA Victor Orchestra, conducted by William Steinberg. If you love the piece, and we believe you will, there are many more performances for you to enjoy on Classical Archives.

If you are a Classical Archives member, you can hear this performance by clicking here.

What will our next must-know piece of classical music be? To find out, you will want to return to the Classical Archives Blog often to check in.