Sarasate The Spanish Spirit, is a biographical documentary film, about the 19th-century Spanish violin virtuoso and composer Pablo Sarasate, which Robert and Meri have completed in 2020.
The film tells not only about the life of Sarasate but also lets the viewer gets acquainted with the roots of Spanish music, influences of other cultures upon and some historical facts related to this subject.
The great Spanish violinist and composer Pablo Sarasate has been, ever since he appeared on stage as a young boy, a name in the world of music.
Unfortunately, upon this day there has not been written a biography in English or an English documentary film of feature-length about this icon.
Born in 1844 in Pamplona (Spain) his life took an early flight to Madrid and at the age of eleven to France, which became his home-base upon where he would travel the whole world. His love towards his native country, in combination with the compositional vogue of implementing folklore characters in new compositions, resulted in the fact that he composed nearly sixty pieces which he performed during his trips and which made him, subsequently, world-famous.
The Famous ‘Encierros’ first recorded on film in 1930
The violinist Meri Khojayan and the pianist Robert Poortinga combined their great love for film, photography, music and biographical research which resulted in a two-year-long project and a film of nearly sixty minutes. In these sixty minutes, there is the life of the composer, his love towards his hometown Pamplona and the famous San Fermin Festival, the influences of Spanish music in his compositions, the phenomenal nature and the influence that he had on the general late 19th-century music-world.
A setting sun in an Andalusian almond grove
Pablo Sarasate was one of the first musicians, who made an audio recording on a phonograph (which was invented in 1880 by Thomas Edison). In 1904 Sarasate made a small number of recordings: among which he played some of his own compositions.
Thanks to wonderful editing programs, Robert was able to restore these recordings. This gives us listeners an opportunity to understand the musicality and brilliance of Sarasate's playing even better.