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Carmen: Habanera

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Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet (arr. Zugrov)


Subtitle: Act I, No. 5 for Voice and Wind Band


General Info

Year: 1875 / 2015
Duration: c. 2:35
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: SMP Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $54.99


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe
Bassoon
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Cornet I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II
B-flat Tenore
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Euphonium
Tuba I-II
Bass Guitar
Electric Guitar
Percussion, including:

  • Drum Set
  • Glockenspiel
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone

Voice


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The opera was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 3 March 1875 and was not well received, largely due to its breaking of convention and controversial main characters, which shocked and scandalized its first audiences. Bizet died suddenly after the 33rd performance, and therefore was unaware of its outstanding success in Vienna later that year, or that it would win enduring international acclaim within the next ten years. Carmen has since become one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the classical canon; the Habañera from act 1 and the Toreador Song from act 2 are among the best known of all operatic arias.

The opera is written in the genre of opéra comique with musical numbers separated by dialogue. It is set in southern Spain and tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen. José abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts from his military duties, yet loses Carmen's love to the glamorous toreador Escamillo, after which José kills her in a jealous rage. The depictions of proletarian life, immorality, and lawlessness, and the tragic death of the main character on stage, broke new ground in French opera and were highly controversial.

After the premiere, most reviews were critical, and the French public was generally indifferent. Later commentators have asserted that Carmen forms the bridge between the tradition of opéra comique and the realism or verismo that characterised late 19th-century Italian opera.

The music of Carmen has since been widely acclaimed for brilliance of melody, harmony, atmosphere, and orchestration, and for the skill with which Bizet musically represented the emotions and suffering of his characters. The opera has been recorded many times since the first acoustical recording in 1908, and the story has been the subject of many screen and stage adaptations.

Habanera is the popular name for L'amour est un oiseau rebelle ("Love is a rebellious bird"), one of the most famous arias from Carmen. It is the entrance aria of the title character, a mezzo-soprano role, in scene 5 of the first act. It is based on a descending chromatic scale followed by variants of the same phrase in first the minor and then the major key, corresponding to the vicissitudes of love expressed in the lyrics.

The score of this aria was adapted from the habanera El Arreglito, originally composed by the Spanish musician Sebastián Yradier. Bizet thought it to be a folk song; when others told him he had used something that had been written by a composer who had died only ten years earlier, he had to add a note to the vocal score of Carmen, acknowledging its source.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


Media


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Charlottesville (Va.) Municipal Band (Stephen R. Layman, conductor; Rebecca Ewing, soprano) – 5 July 2016


Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music


All Wind Works


Resources