Bizet L’Arlesienne Suite-Two Flutes and Piano


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Bizet L’Arlesienne Suite-Two Flutes and Piano

2 Flutes and Piano
Publisher-Hunt Edition HE75
Arranged by Jenny Gould


  • Adagietto
  • Carillon
  • Patorale
  • Prélude


Two flutes with piano accompaniment. L’Arlésienne literally means ‘the girl from Arles’. This character is the same ‘type’ as the more well-known figure of Carmen, and the play by Alphonse Daudet for which Bizet wrote the incidental music suffered from the same intensely negative reaction as Carmen did when it premièred three years later.

The plots of the two stories deal with similar themes – in L’Arlésienne the young man is in love with the ‘femme fatale,’ from Arles when he is supposed to be marrying the good, innocent girl-next-door type from his own village. The story is set in Provence, and some of the melodies used are traditional, but given Bizet’s own very special treatment and orchestration.

Despite the play only running for 21 performances, Bizet realized the intrinsic value of the music as it stood, so after the play had closed he compiled the first orchestral suite. This proved to be so popular that Bizet’s friend Ernest Guiraud later put together the second suite, both of which are now concert hall favourites.

This album contains extracts from both suites, using material from the Prélude, Adagietto, Pastorale and Carillon.

Georges Bizet-Composer

French composer Bizet (1838-1875), stands as one of the most gifted musicians of the 19th century/Romantic era.

He studied at the Paris Conservatoire from the tender age of ten, where he demonstrated his skills as a prodigious pianist and composer. Bizet studied with Charles Gounod, then the leading French opera composer and was later influenced by Italian composers such as Donizetti and Rossini.

During his studies at the Paris Conservatoire, Bizet won an array of prizes including the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1857.

Bizet composed an incredible thirty operas during his short lifetime, many of which remained unfinished. Some of these operas included  Pearl Fisher and The Fair Maid of Perth, but his most famous opera was Carmen. This opera incorporated famous Spanish melodies including the Habanera and Toreador songs. Bizet sadly died three months after Carmen’s premiere, which has become one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the opera repertoire.

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