Havanaise (Saint-Saëns)

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The Havanaise in E major (French: Havanaise en mi majeur), Op. 83, is a composition for violin and orchestra based on the habanera rhythm, written in 1887 by French composer, Camille Saint-Saëns for Cuban violinist Rafael Díaz Albertini.[1][2] At the January 7, 1894 orchestral premiere in Paris, the violin was played instead by Martin Pierre Marsick.[3] It is one of the standards of the classical concertante repertoire.


The composition consists of a single multi-tempo movement marked Allegretto lusinghiero – Allegro – Tempo primo – Allegretto – Allegro non troppo – Più Allegro – Allegretto – Lento and lasts around ten minutes in performance.

In popular culture[edit]

A minor variation on "Havanaise", as well as the original piece, make up the main theme of the film The Ninth Gate.[4] A brief segment is played many times on the soundtrack of Rainer Fassbinder's film Effi Briest.[citation needed] The initial phrase also supplies the melody to the popular song Sugartime by Charles Phillips and Odis Echols.[citation needed]


  1. ^ (Roeder 2003, p. 288)
  2. ^ (Rosman 2000)
  3. ^ Havanaise, Op.83 / Camille Saint-Saëns [notated music] The Library of Congress
  4. ^ "The Ninth Gate (1999) - Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved 22 September 2016.

External links[edit]