- Bizet, L’Arlesiene Suite No. 1
- I. Prélude, Allegro deciso
- II. Minuet, Allegro giocoso
- III. Adagietto
- IV. Carillon, Allegro moderato
Video lesson by:
- Saran Newbold & Michael Cox
Despite the poor reviews of the premiere production, Bizet arranged four prominent instrumental numbers from his incidental music as a suite of four movements, now known as L’Arlésienne Suite No. 1. The first performance was at a Pasdeloup concert on 10 November 1872.
The suite opens with a strong, energetic theme, which is based on the Epiphany carol “March of the Kings”, played by the violins. (This tune had also been used two centuries earlier in Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Marche de Turenne.) Afterwards, the theme is repeated by various sections. After reaching a climax, the theme fades away. It is followed by the theme associated with L’Innocent (the brother of Frédéri, the hero). The Prélude concludes with the theme associated with Frédéri himself. The second movement, resembles a minuet, while the third is more emotional and muted. The last movement, Carillon, features a repeating bell-tone pattern on the horns, mimicking a peal of church bells.