Habanera, from Carmen (viola cello duo)
Title: Habanera, from the opera Carmen
Composer: Georges Bizet, arr. David Gable
Instrumentation: Viola and Cello
Printout: 4 pages
Note: Bizet’s intention was to base some of the music in Carmen on Spanish folk idioms, and initially he thought that the song El Arreglito, which he used for this aria, was traditional. He later learned that it was composed by Spanish composer Sebastian Yridier (1809 – 1865) and made a note to that effect in the published version of the vocal score. The habanera originated in Argentina, but quickly became popular throughout Europe. This aria is one of the best known not only in Carmen, but also in the entire operatic repertory.
This setting for viola and cello works especially well because the darker timbre of the viola suits the mezzo soprano vocal writing of Carmen’s role. It is also available in the Bargain Bundle Carmen, Selected Highlights for Viola and Cello at considerable savings.