Bizet Carmen Suite – Cello Octet
Arranged by Carsten Jaspert
Title: Carmen Suite (for Cello Octet)
Composer: Georges Bizet
Editor: Carsten Jaspert
Instrumentation: Violoncello Ensemble
Pages: 39 for the score and 64 for the violoncello parts
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Bizet's Carmen Suite has been arranged for cello octet by Carsten Jaspert, German-born cellist of the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hannover and former Principal Cellist of the Folkwang Kammerorchester in Essen. Outside of his orchestral career, Jaspert has been a member of the Helian Quartet since 2005 and regularly writes arrangements for cello ensembles.
I’ve chosen three movements of the Orchestra-Suites and the aria of Don José "La fleur que tu m’avais jeté". The first movement is the Prélude to the opera, the second starts with a small introduction containing a motive of the transition to the first act of the opera and leads into the aria as a solo for the first cello. It could be helpful for the accompanying parts (cellos 2-8) to play this movement with mutes. The third movement is a kind of intermezzo: the Entr’acte between second and third act of the opera, and the fourth movement is the famous Chanson Bohême.
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Below is a translation of the aria:
The flower that you threw me
remained with me in my prison.
Dried and withered, this flower
still kept its sweet scent;
and for hours on end,
closing my eyelids,
I drank in its fragrance
and at night I saw you.
I began to curse you,
to hate you, to ask myself
why destiny had
to put you in my path.
Then I accused myself of blasphemy,
and felt within myself
but one single desire, one single hope,
to see you again, Carmen, yes, to see you again!
For you had only to appear,
to cast me but one glance,
to take possession of all my being,
o my Carmen,
and I was utterly yours.
Carmen, I love you!
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