The Italian French Serbian violinist Luka Faulisi makes an impressive Sony Classical debut with ARIA, an album of instrumental versions of operatic music.

Luka Faulisi – Carmen Fantasie: Prélude – Habanera – YouTube


“Opera inhabits an ideal world of myth with its mixture of theatre, poetry, music and magnificent places,” says the young violinist, who grew up near the Opéra Bastille in Paris and who frequently lined up at the Stage Door after seeing performances, to get autographs from opera stars. To select the music for the album, the 21-year-old Faulisi says: ‘”I was looking for arrangements that would avoid any sense of gratuitous virtuosity and excessive ostentation.” Faulisi came to work with pianist Itamar Golan on the recording, after both musicians found themselves isolated during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Franz Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy

Henryk Wieniawski’s Fantasy on themes from Gounod’s Faust,

Leopold Auer’s arrangement of Lensky’s aria from Peter I. Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin 

Faulisi’s Fantasy on themes from Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata

Roxana’s aria’ from Karol Szymanowski’s King Roger

Efrem Zimbalist’s fantasy on Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel.


With brilliant technique and sensitive musicality, the young Luka Faulisi achieves a cantabile legato and a mellifluous tone in the selections featured in ARIA.

In the livelier excerpts from Carmen and in the drinking song from La traviata Faulisi injects the music with a vivid theatricality that recalls the moments in the operas it celebrates.

With his take on Valentin’s youthful manly patriotism and with the merry-making waltz of the villagers in the Kermesse from Faust, the young artist creates colorful characters with his playing.

The tour de force moments in The Golden Cockerel are dazzling, as are, as played by Faulisi both the heartfelt utterance of Lensky in Eugene Onegin and Violetta’s heartbreak in the Addio del passato aria.

All in all, this is an auspicious debut album that holds the promise of great things to come from a very fine artist at the start of his career.

Rafael de Acha © 2023

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