Over the past few days, I haven’t been able to stop listening to this brief 1938 recording of the great Austrian-born violinist, Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962). There is something deeply alluring about Kreisler’s playing. Listen carefully to the distinct quality of his sound, with its warm soulfulness and far-off nostalgia. Also, notice the elegant phrasing and the way one note moves to another.
Kreisler was fond of writing short pieces which imitated the vocabulary and style of a long-dead composer. He would then pass off the new work as a “newly-discovered” work of the composer. The hoax eventually caught up with him.
La Gitana (“The Gypsy” in Spanish) was written around 1900. It pulls us into the sunny, mystical world of Arabo-Spanish Gypsies, a group which migrated to the Iberian Peninsula from Northern India in the 15th century. Kreisler’s music is filled with the laid-back, sultry atmosphere and rhythms of Spain:
- Kreisler: La Gitana, Fritz Kreisler, Franz Rupp Presto Classical