Carmen Fantasia

From Wind Repertory Project
Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet (arr. Donald Hunsberger)

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Subtitle: For Two Solo Trumpets and Wind Ensemble

General Info

Year: 2004
Duration: c. 26:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental   |   Score Only - $60.00


Full Score
Solo Trumpet I-II
C Piccolo/Flute III
Flute I-II
Alto Flute
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
String Bass

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Carmen Fantasia was written for the duo trumpet performers Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer. I had known of them in their respective positions as co-principal trumpet of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and principal trumpet of the Houston Symphony Orchestra but had no idea concerning the depth of the chemistry that binds them together as duo soloists in many, many unique ways. I first met them when they successfully interviewed for the trumpet professorships at the Eastman School of Music in the early 1980s.

Shortly after they arrived at Eastman, I became involved in the CBS Masterworks writing-recording project involving Wynton Marsalis that produced the Carnaval recording of turn-of-the-century cornet solos with wind band accompaniment by the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Several years later, Barbara and Charlie approached me and asked for a major-sized composition that would feature them in the same manner that Carnaval had revealed Wynton’s many talents.

At first, this appeared to me to provide an enormous challenge, for it is much easier to showcase the talents and abilities of a single soloist than to provide musical and innovative ideas for two performers playing the same instrument without slighting one over the other. Answers soon became apparent when I realized how seamlessly Barbara and Charlie complement each other to such a point that it is possible to interchange melodic and secondary accompanying lines without the listener even being aware of which one of them is actually playing which line! Their ability to match timbres and sense each other’s musical leaning so quickly and accurately is an instrumental equivalent of the numerous tonal matches one frequently finds in operatic performances. Their individual, and combined, prowess in piccolo trumpet performance is especially impressive and featured strongly in the choice and treatment of excerpts from Carmen.

Thus, what turned out to be our initial project (Under Gypsy Skies and A Stephen Foster Sett followed Carmen Fantasia) was founded on music of different styles from Georges Bizet’s opera. This set of excerpts was premiered in 1994 and featured the soli duo performing on trumpet, flugelhorn, and piccolo trumpet. The score is cast as a theatre set piece with both soloists located in front of the orchestra, each with his or her own solo percussionist accompanist. The opening fanfare call is to be made off stage with the soloists then entering during the orchestra introduction just in time to play their first cadenza. During the work, each is to feel free to wander on or off stage and to “play off” of their opposing solo partner -- a sort of “confrontational improvisation.”

Following several performances with orchestra here and abroad, a wind ensemble accompaniment version was created and Barbara and Charlie performed Carmen Fantasia with the Eastman Wind Ensemble on a three-week tour of Japan in 1996, sponsored by Sony Music Foundation and Eastman Kodak Japan. A third edition of the accompaniment has been written for duo solo performers, piano accompaniment with timpani, and five percussionists.

- Program Note by Donald Hunsberger


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Delaware (Newark) Wind Ensemble (Lauren Reynolds, conductor; Mark Clodfelter and Christopher Moore, trumpets) – 14 October 2022
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Symphonic Winds (Denis Llinas, conductor; Brian Shaw and Matthew Vangjel, trumpets) – 12 October 2017
  • Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor; Michael Martin and Christopher Martin, trumpets) – 1 November 2015
  • America's Hometown Band (Muncie, Ind.) (Roger McConnell, conductor; Mike White and Joel Replogle, trumpets) – February 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Bizet, G.; Hunsberger, D. (2004). Carmen Fantasia: For Two Solo Trumpets and Wind Ensemble [score]. Belwin-Mills: Miami, Fla.