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