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Georges Bizet: Symphony No. 1

  • in C major
  • for orchestra
  • 2 2 2 2 - 4 2 0 0 - timp, str
  • Duration: 30’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    1st clarinet in C
    2nd clarinet in C
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    1st horn in G/F/A
    2nd horn in G/F/A
    3rd horn in C/E
    4th horn in C
    1st trumpet in C
    2nd trumpet in C
    violin I
    violin II
  • Composer: Georges Bizet

Work introduction

The first performance of this work in 1935 caused a sensation, and Universal Edition snatched it up at once, signing a contract that same year. The piece has since firmly established itself in the concert repertoire. (It is still a mystery why Georges Bizet, who wrote it when he was 17, hid it away in a drawer and told no one about it). The music has more in common with Mozart and Rossini than with any French models; its last movement contains hints of Schumann's 2nd Symphony, composed five years earlier. The dance-like element of Bizet’s symphony inspired Georges Balanchine to create one his most successful choreographies.


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