Lalo – Symphony Espagnole

The French composer Eduard Lalo loved Spain. As did a lot of his contemporaries. Spain was hot and exotic at the time. The symphony Espagnole was a good example of that (another one is Bizet’s famous opera Carmen). It is well known, and one of the more popular work of Lalo.

Most musicologists nowadays see this work as a violin concerto. For that reason it was long usance to leave out the intermezzo (the third part), to make it more like a four part symphony. This version has all the five parts though.

The story is that this work inspired Tchaikovsky to write the mother of all violin concertos, his concerto in D major. He was recovering from the break down and attempted suicide after his failed marriage in the house of Nadezhda von Meck in Switzerland. Von Meck was helping him financially, but also supported him in his life’s troubles.

Tchaikovsky’s suspected lover violinist Iosif Kotek came to visit him there, and they played some new music Iosif had brought with him. Tchaikovsky was fascinated with the Lalo piece, so he decided to drop everything else, and work on his first and only violin concerto.

I think we’ve seen the bridge on the cover already.

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  1. Arn

    Ah, the “drawbridge at Arles”.
    Yes, you might have seen it before somewhere..
    Painted by Vincent van Gogh on multiple different paintings. Wich ended up at several different museums. Wich ended up on numerous different classical music album covers.
    Or perhaps you’ve seen it in real live, because the bridge still excists today:

    1. My remark was more jokingly, because indeed it was on one of the other covers not so long ago.
      So is this one a different version from the cover I published earlier?