Tune of the Day: Menuet from L'Arlésienne
This pretty minuet constitutes the third movement of L'Arlésienne Suite No. 2. This second suite was put together rather clumsily by Bizet's friend Ernest Giraud after the composer's death. Bizet had already used most of his best music in the first suite, so for the second Guiraud had only leftovers to deal with. He compensated in part by pulling in music from other sources, and composing new music upon themes from the incidental score.
This minuet in particular is actually an intruder: it was borrowed from Act 3 of Bizet's La jolie fille de Perth (The Fair Maid of Perth). And it doesn't appear in the original incidental music to L'Arlésienne at all! Nonetheless, it is regarded as the most emotional movement of the whole work, and it is frequently played. It's a lovely flute-and-harp piece that originally accompanied a scene of aristocratic seduction, with a ceremonial Trio section for full orchestra.