Georges Bizet composed 'L'Arlésienne' as incidental music to Alphonse Daudet's play of the same name, usually translated as 'The Girl from Arles'. The incidental music has survived and flourished, however, it is most often heard in the form of two suites for orchestra, but has also been recorded complete. A month after the first production Bizet rescored the four extracts that form the first suite for full orchestra, with the equally sunny and melodious second suite arranged by his friend, the composer Ernest Guiraud, after Bizet's death. Both have proved more durable than the play. Lyrical and spirited by turns, the melodies are rooted in Provençal folk songs and dances, yet have all the color and drama associated with the composer of Carmen.
The first suite comprises four movements: 'Overture', 'Intermezzo' (with its title changed to 'Minuet'), 'Adagietto', and 'Carillon'.
Dutch arranger Jos van de Braak transcribed the first suite for Symphonic Band.