Incredible as it seems today, Bizet’s opera Carmen was met with lukewarm reception at its premiere at the Paris Opera-Comique in 1875. Critics condemned its subject matter as lurid and its music overly Wagnerian, and it ran for a mere 37 performances. Bizet died within a few days of it opening at the tragically early age of just thirty-six. Now hailed as the composer’s supreme achievement this colourful, passionate work continues to delight listeners around the world with its emotional, atmospheric music and the originality of its conception.
Two orchestral suites were created in the latter part of the 19th Century each containing six pieces. This brass band arrangement brings together three of these pieces, the Aragonaise, the Habanera and Les Toreadors.