“Flower Duet” from Lakmé
For Saxophone Duet and Wind Instrument Chamber Ensemble (6:30)
Composed by Léo Delibes (1836–1891)
Arranged by William V. Johnson (2019)
Léo Delibes’ three act opera Lakmé is perhaps the French composer’s best-known work. Composed between 1881-1882, Lakmé is based on Le Mariage de Loti by Pierre Loti, and Les babouches du Brahamane by Théodore Pavie. The Flower Duet is featured in Act 1 of the opera, and is now performed as a stand-alone vocal piece in concert programs. As potentially one of the most famous opera duets ever, the Flower Duet has been used in modern media, mostly as commercials. This arrangement is for solo soprano saxophone and solo alto saxophone. The instrumentation is an expansion of the traditional wind quintet.
Clément Philibert Léo Delibes was a French composer of the Romantic era, who specialized in ballets, operas, and other works for the stage. His most notable works include the ballets Coppélia and Sylvia, as well as the operas Le roi l’a dit and Lakmé. Delibes was born on February 21, 1836 in Saint-Germain-du- Val, France. He died January 16, 1891 in Paris. He was a French opera and ballet composer who was the first to write music of high quality for the ballet. His pioneering symphonic work for the ballet opened up a field for serious composers, and his influence can be traced in the work of Tchaikovsky and others who wrote for the dance. His own music—light, graceful, elegant, with a tendency toward exoticism—reflects the spirit of the Second Empire in France.
This arrangement is dedicated to the Chamber Ensembles of the Caltech Wind Orchestra, Pasadena, California, Dr. Glenn Price, Conductor.
A wind band recording of this piece is yet to be made. The following is a computer generated sound-file of the work:
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