Label: EMI Testament / Columbia SAX 2566
Andre Cluytens conducts the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra for this recording of Bizet’s L’Arlesienne Suties 1 & 2 alongside the Carmen Suite.
The Carmen Suite was assembled after Bizet’s death and brought the operatic masterpiece into the concert hall. The overture is fresh and rousing, the toreador theme marches in proudly and purposefully, followed by the destiny motif in the minor key which burns itself into ones ear and mind. With every bar it becomes obvious that this suite is not so much a series of excerpts but rather the true substance of its creator’s musical ideas.
All that remained of the five-act play L’Arlesienne after its unsuccessful premiere was Bizet’s incidental music, which he himself orchestrated lavishly and premiered with success. Similar to Carmen, popular melodies are treated with the composer’s own unique style to make them ageless.