Mikhail Pochekin's Arrangement for Solo Violin of Albeniz' "Asturias"
Spanish composer and pianist Isaac Albéniz originally wrote the piece for piano
Composed in the early 1890s by Catalan composer and pianist Isaac Albéniz, the piece is his most frequently performed work. Although originally written for piano, it is often transcribed and performed on guitar.
Although it's named after the northern region of Spain, Asturias, the piece evokes flamenco themes and the music of Andalusia, the southernmost region of the country.
What drew violinist Mikhail Pochekin to the piece was his love of Spanish music. "Musically, this piece is so rich in colors, lyricism, and strong rhythmic base. In general, it is interesting both from a technical and artistic point of view," he told The Violin Channel.
"When I first heard it, it was played by the great guitarist Andrés Segovia, and I must say that his interpretation on the guitar inspired me to transcribe this piece for violin solo," he added. "At that moment, I had a very clear idea of how it should sound on a violin."
When asked what level of playing his arrangement is suited for, Pochekin said, "With the bow strikes I tried to imitate the sound of a guitar as close as possible. Of course, such a bow technique requires a virtuoso performance from the violinist.
"However, I tried to make this piece as convenient as possible for violinists (for example, I adapted it to D minor in order to use open strings as much as possible, etc.)"
The arrangement is available to purchase here.
Violinist Mikhail Pochekin received his first lesson from G.S. Turchaninova at the age of five and continued his studies with Ana Chumachenco, Viktor Tretiakov, and Rainer Schmidt, at the music academies of Cologne, Munich, and Basel — plus the “Reina Sofia” school of music in Madrid and Mozarteum University in Salzburg.
He won prizes at the Premio Rodolfo Lipizer, Pablo Sarasate International Violin Competition, Concorso Ruggiero Ricci, and Jasha Heifetz International Violin Competition.
In 2008, he was awarded the Pablo Sarasate National Prize in Spain, after which he received an invitation from the Royal Conservatory of Madrid to give a concert on the famous violin by Antonio Stradivarius "Ex Boissier," which once belonged to the famous spanish violinist.
Pochekin has performed with the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, the Moscow State symphony orchestra, Neubrandenburger Philharmonie, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, and Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra.
He is one of two in a duo with his brother, violinist and violist Ivan Pochekin. In 2018, label Melodiya released their debut album entitled “The Unity of Opposites”, which included works for two violins as well as for violin and viola.