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Gypsy fire

LAWRENCE BUDMEN is impressed by
Ukrainian violinist Vadim Gluzman


Gypsy music has long fascinated and inspired the world's great composers. From Brahms and Enescu through Gyorgy Ligeti, the Magyar spirit has emblazoned concert halls around the globe. The Hungarian violinist Jelly d'Aranyi was a muse to two of the twentieth century's creative masters -- Bela Bartók and Maurice Ravel. Bartók composed his First Sonata (a favorite of Yehudi Menuhin) for Ms d'Aranyi. After hearing her play that riveting score in London in 1922 (with Bartók at the piano), Ravel decided to write his own Hungarian pastiche. Ravel found inspiration in Bartók's musicological research on Hungarian folk music and in the Gypsy style variations that Ms d'Aranyi had performed. Ravel's Tzigane -- Rhapsodie de Concert is a dazzling display piece that encompasses double stops, harmonics, pizzicatos, glissandos, and all the technical challenges of Paganini's twenty four Violin Caprices, plus a few more. This score has long been a specialty of Russian violinists. On 4 April 2004 at the University of Miami Gusman Concert Hall, the Ukrainian violinist Vadim Gluzman delivered a brilliantly virtuosic account of this French Magyar display piece -- the climax of a dynamic recital for the Sunday Afternoons of Music series.

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Copyright © 6 May 2004 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA


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