The Havanaise possibly has its roots in the friendship of the composer with the Cuban-born violinist Rafael Diaz Albertini. It is thus perfectly plausible that Saint-Saëns borrowed the Cuban syncopated slow dance Habanera out of kindness towards his performance partner when he was getting ready to write a work for Diaz Albertini in 1887. Saint-Saëns originally wrote a version for violin and piano, which was later followed by the orchestral version that the publisher Durand had urged him to write. Diaz Albertini, to whom the work was dedicated, gave its world premiere before other virtuosos adopted it for themselves and spread its fame throughout the world. The basis of this first Urtext edition of the piece is the first edition, which was presumably personally overseen by Saint-Saëns.