Carmen Fantasie (Waxman)

Carmen Fantasie is a virtuoso showpiece for violin and orchestra.[1] The piece is part of Franz Waxman's score to the 1946 movie Humoresque for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. The music, based on various themes from Georges Bizet's opera Carmen and unrelated (although somewhat similar in structure) to the similarly titled work Carmen Fantasy by Pablo de Sarasate,[2] was initially meant to be played by Jascha Heifetz.[3] However, he was replaced by a young Isaac Stern for the film's recording of the score. Stern's hands can be seen in the close-up shots from the movie.

After seeing the film, Heifetz asked Waxman to expand the work because he wanted to play it on the radio program, The Bell Telephone Hour, where it premiered on 9 September 1946. The work has been played since by many virtuoso violinists in concerts.[2] It has also been adapted for a variety of orchestral/chamber arrangements, such as a versions for trumpet and orchestra, for violin and piano, as well as for viola and piano/orchestra.[2][4]


  1. ^ David Neumeyer; Nathan Platte (6 December 2011). Franz Waxman's Rebecca: A Film Score Guide. Scarecrow Press. pp. 12–. ISBN 978-0-8108-8366-6.
  2. ^ a b c Carmen Fantasie, details at accessed 18 May 2021
  3. ^ Cynthia Wilson (2011). Always Something New to Discover: Menahem Pressler and the Beaux Arts Trio. Paragon Publishing. pp. 60–. ISBN 978-1-908341-25-9.
  4. ^ Franz Waxman (Concert) THEMES & VARIATIONS accessed 18 May 2021

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