Although Edouard Lalo is not one of the most immediately recognized names in French music, his distinctive style has earned him some degree of popularity. A composer of Spanish decent, he was born in northern France and spent most of his life in and around Paris. A gifted violinist and teacher, he wrote many great works for full orchestra as well as chamber ensembles. One of his most prominent compositions is the Symphonie Espangole, a concerto-like work for violin and orchestra. The piece was written for Pablo de Sarasate, a gifted violinist and arranger of many virtuosic works for the instrument (among them his ever-popular Carmen Fantasy). The piece calls for a great deal of technical bravado from the violin soloist, but is also an enjoyable work that captures the sunny and exotic atmosphere of France’s southern neighbor.