• James Domine

Sonata #11 in F# minor - Habañera

Updated: Mar 18

The Sonata #11 in F# minor is one of the many pieces for solo piano that Domine composed during the lost pandemic year of 2021. Cast in sonata form, the piece is given the subtitle Habañera because the music suggests a romantic narrative in a certain evocative mood. If Carmen played piano, this is what the music might sound like. Habañera, or contradanza, is the feminine form of the Spanish word habañero, that designates a particular style of Cuban popular dance music of the 19th century. The

music for this dance has a duple meter and a rhythm that resembles a tango. Ordinarily the tempo of the habañera is relatively slow and sultry, as in Carmen’s aria from Act I of Bizet’s opera. The tempo is accelerated in this sonata to achieve an overtly more passionate effect by contrast. The lyrics to Carmen's aria might help to create a dramatic background for the new piece and provide a poetic flourish to the atmosphere surrounding the premiere.


"L'amour est un oiseau rebelle que nul ne peut apprivoiser,

et c'est bien en vain qu'on l'appelle, s';il lui convient de refuser.

Rien n'y fait, menace ou prière. L'un parle bien, l'autre se tait.

Et c'est l';autre que je préfère, il n'a rien dit mais il me plaît."


The Sonata #11 in F# minor - Habañera made its public debut on March 21, 2021 as the seventh in a festival series of Sunday afternoon Pandemic Productions Presents Premiere Performances of Piano Pieces by James Domine on his YouTube channel for an audience of invited listeners.


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