Carmen Symphony

From Wind Repertory Project
Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet (arr. José Serebrier; ed. Donald Patterson)

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Subtitle: In Twelve Scenes

General Info

Year: 1875 / 2009
Duration: c. 34:10
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $395.00   |   Score Only - $50.00


1. Prelude – 3:30
2. The Cavalry – 4:00
3. Habanera – 2:10
4. Seguidilla
5. Fugato – 1:55
6. Interlude I – 1:35
7. Toreador – 2:25
8. Interlude II – 2:40
9. Andante Cantabile – 3:40
10. Interlude III – 2:20
11. The Wedding – 1:20
12. Gypsy Dance – 5:15


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

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Carmen became Bizet’s most celebrated work, although the premiere at the Opéra Comique in Paris on March 3, 1875, was greeted by silence from its charter audience. Bizet died three months later, believing that his last opera had completely failed. By featuring smugglers, gypsies, factory girls, corporals, and cigarette smokers, Carmen violated the chastity and lightweight fare of the typical Opéra Comique productions. Despite its initial critiques, the quality of the music and the international “soap opera” appeal -- a tangled relationship amongst the beautiful, seductive Carmen, the army corporal Don José, and the famous matador Escamillo -- have continued to promote the work. Bizet’s portrayal of Spanish life and music, and his understanding of the gypsies is instinctive and real. Upon hearing it in Paris, Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky announced, "In a few years Carmen will be the most popular opera in the world." With the 1875 Vienna production, just months after the disastrous Paris premiere, Carmen was on its way to fulfilling Tchaikovsky's prediction. Other major composers of Bizet’s era who praised Carmen were Brahms, Wagner, and Ravel.

Jose Serebrier’s sequence of orchestral interludes from Carmen extends its magic to the concert hall. Carmen Symphony, unlike other well-known Carmen suites, follows the dramatic thread of the opera.

- Program Note from University of Texas Wind Symphony concert program, 22 February 2017


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Bizet, G.; Serebrier, J.; Patterson, D. (2004). Carmen Symphony: In Twelve Scenes [score]. Hal Leonard: Milwaukee.