Carmen Suites (Bizet/Guiraud)

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The Carmen Suites are two suites of orchestral music drawn from the music of Georges Bizet's 1875 opera Carmen and compiled posthumously by his friend Ernest Guiraud. They adhere very closely to Bizet's orchestration.

Guiraud also wrote the recitatives for Carmen, and compiled the second of the two suites from Bizet's L'Arlésienne incidental music.

Each of the Carmen Suites contains six numbers. Both suites have been performed and recorded many times.

Carmen Suite No. 1[edit]

  • Prélude – Act I, prelude (fate motive)
  • Aragonaise – Interlude (entr'acte) before act 4
  • Intermezzo – Interlude (entr'acte) before act 3
  • Séguedille – Act 1, Carmen: "Près des remparts de Séville"
  • Les Dragons d'Alcala – Interlude (entr'acte) before act 2
  • Les Toréadors – Theme from prelude to act 1 and Procession of the Toreadors from act 4: "Les voici! voici la quadrille des Toreros!".

Suite No. 1 was published c. 1882.[1]

The Aragonaise was also used by Pablo de Sarasate in his Carmen Fantasy for violin and orchestra and by Franz Waxman in his own Carmen Fantasie.

Carmen Suite No. 2[edit]

  • Marche des Contrebandiers – Act 3, chorus: "Écoute, écoute, compagnon!"
  • Habanera: Act 1, aria (Carmen) – "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle"
  • Nocturne: Act 3, aria (Micaëla) – "Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante"
  • Chanson du Toréador – Act 2, introduction and aria (Escamillo): "Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre"
  • La Garde Montante – Act 1: "Avec la garde montante, nous arrivons, nous voilà!"
  • Danse Bohème – Act 2, Gypsy Dance: "Les tringles des sistres tintaient"

Suite No. 2 is longer than the first suite. It was published in 1887.[2]


External links[edit]