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Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Romantic Era > Suite No. 1, "L'Arlésienne" (Bizet)


Suite No. 1, "L'Arlésienne"

Georges Bizet
(1838-75)



The suite "L'Arlésienne" is one of the two which Bizet arranged as incidental music to Daudet's play of the same name. It is written in four movements : 1, Allegro deciso; 2, Minuet, Allegro giocoso; 3, Adagietto; 4, Carillon - Allegro moderato.

The prelude, in march tiome, opens with a vigorous theme given out in unison by the woodwinds, horns and violins. After repetition in the woodwinds, the clarinet having the harmony, the theme is worked up the followed by a subject, varying the theme. It is then taken up fortissimo in full orchestra and gradually dies away. An intermezzo follows, with a peculiar alternating accompaniment in the clarinet. the movement comes to its close with a charming melody in the muted strings, accompanied by the woodwinds and brasses. The second movement is a minuet in the usual form with a trio in imitation of the bagpipe, and third, a tender romanza for the muted strings. The last movement, Carillon, as its title suggests, imitates a bell chime. The bells sound an accompaniment, a repetition of three notes, against a sprightly little dance theme in the violins and other instruments, which is followed by a pastoral subject of a quaint sort. At its conclusion the carillon effect is reproduced and the suite comes to its close.






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