Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Park, Sue-Jean. “The Concept of Fantasie in Two Versions of the Carmen Fantasie: Sarasate and Waxman.” DMA diss., The University of Texas at Austin, 2006.

Pablo de Sarasate and Franz Waxman both composed fantasies for violin based on Bizet’s Carmen. Despite the similarities in thematic content and sectional structure, when compared directly against each other, Sarasate’s fantasy can be seen as highlighting the themes from the opera, while Waxman’s version focuses on the technical skill of the violinist. As both a genre and a style, the fantasy underwent a number of changes from its Baroque origins to the nineteenth century. As the genre developed, composers made fantasies increasingly virtuosic and added idiomatic passages that displayed technical prowess. Carmen proved to be an attractive subject for a violin fantasy because its many lyrical vocal melodies transferred easily to the violin. Sarasate and Waxman use many of the same themes from Carmen for their fantasies, but they ornament these melodies differently. Sarasate’s borrowing of melodies is more direct, as he maintains phrase structure and rhythmic values, while Waxman manipulates the melodies by changing rhythmic durations and adding interpolations. Unlike the Sarasate fantasy, each section of Waxman’s fantasy ends with a violin cadenza. Although Waxman borrowed many of the same techniques that Sarasate used, as a whole, the Waxman fantasy is more demanding of the player.

Works: Pablo de Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy (2, 5, 21, 25, 30-63); Franz Waxman: Carmen Fantasie (2, 5, 21, 25, 54-63).

Sources: Bizet: Carmen (1-3, 22-63).

Index Classifications: 1800s, 1900s

Contributed by: Christine Wisch

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