Symphonie espagnole for violin and guitar
In 1874 the French composer Edouard Lalo wrote his Spanish-inspired violin concerto Symphonie Espagnole Op. 21 for the Spanish violin virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate. Ever since, it has ranked among the most frequently played violin concertos in the repertoire. On this recording the orchestral part has been arranged for guitar, which gives the pieces a genuine chamber-music character.
Fantasie Norvegienne from 1878 was originally a concert fantasy for violin and orchestra, also written for Pablo de Sarasate. Folk music from various countires was an important source of inspiration to Lalo, and in the piece several traditional Norwegian cattle-calls and melodies are heard. The Spanish guitar, seen as a folk music insturment, also interested Lalo, and in 1882 we wrote Guitare for violin and piano. Until now the only existing recording of this piece has been in the form of a rhapsody for orchestra.
Guitarist Lars Hannibal writes: "During our many concerts in Spain, Kim Sjogren and I came across the old, highly atmospheric monastery La Cartuja de la Sierra, 80 km north of Seville near the small town Cazalla. There has been spiritual life here for 2000 years, and today the monastery is an exciting cultural center in the heart of the Andalusian mountains.
We decided to make the recording of Symphonie Espagnole in this very special place where the Spanish soul is so present. In the quiet passages you can hear birds singing - these birds live in the old ruins and are thus part of the atmosphere on La Cartuja."