After completing his studies at the Paris Conservatoire, Delibes worked as an accompanist at the Théâtre-Lyrique, later moving to the position of second chorus master at the Opéra de Paris. He is most noted as a composer of ballet and opera-comique, particularly Coppélia (1870), and Lakmé (1883).
Set to a text by the French poet Louis de Musset, Delibes composed Les filles de Cadix in 1874, at the height of France’s nineteenth-century obsession with exotic sights and sounds. The Spanish port of Cadix (or Cádiz) lies at this cultural crossroads – its western tip facing Morocco – and the song paints a colourful musical portrait of the city’s girls, with flamenco-infused rhythms underpinning the seductive melody.
- Horn in F