Lalo – Symphonie Espagnole pour violon op 21

Edouard Lalo was a nineteenth century French composer, known for his strong melodies and colourful orchestration, with just a touch of German influence, Wagnerian even. This strong German structural basis didn’t make him very popular in France, leading him to create mostly chamber music. His Symphonie espagnole (Spanish symphony) is his best known and most performed work. It premiered in 1875.

Lalo called it a symphony, but the prominent role of the soloist in the piece makes it clearly a concerto. More specifically, a violin concerto. The many Spanish melodies gave birth to the Spanish fashion in France, and it was followed by many other pieces in this vein. There is a theory that it also inspired Tchaikovsky to write his most famous violin concerto when the Lalo work was brought to him by the German violinist Iosif Kotek.

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