Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #18: Written for a prodigy | Beethovenfest | DW | 30.09.2011
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Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #18: Written for a prodigy

Camille Saint-Saens wrote his Introduction and rondo capriccioso for a violin prodigy with fire in his fingers. It's a work that's meant to put on a show, and Geza Hosszu-Legocky's Beethovenfest performance shows how.

Violinist Geza Hosszu-Legocky

Violinist Geza Hosszu-Legocky

Camille Saint-Saëns
Introduction and rondo capriccioso for violin and orchestra, op. 28
Géza Hosszu-Legocky, violin
Roma and Sinti Philharmonic
Conductor: Riccardo M. Sahiti
MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on September 24, 2011 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR)

French composer Camille Saint-Saens had a very specific soloist in mind when he wrote the Introduction and rondo capriccioso along with his Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 3. Spanish violinist Pablo de Sarasate first inspired Saint-Saens to write music for him when the fifteen-year-old visited the composer in 1859. Four years later, Saint-Saens composed his Introduction and rondo capriccioso, dedicating it to the internationally famous prodigy.

At the Beethovenfest, the work landed in the hands of a similarly precocious player: Geza Hosszu-Legocky. Like the violinist to whom the piece is dedicated, Hosszu-Legocky enjoyed success early. At 20, he was nominated for two Grammy Awards for his performance of Schumann's Violin Sonata in A Major. The now 26-year-old violinist has a passion for playing gypsy music, making him an ideal partner for the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic during their debut in Bonn.

The Introduction and rondo capriccioso puts the spotlight squarely on this talented soloist as the gentler, more melancholy opener gives way to furious, dazzling lines.

Author: Greg Wiser
Editor: Rick Fulker

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