Home > String quartet > Il cigno (swan)

Il cigno (swan)

Composer
Camille Saint-Saëns
Arranger
arr.Quartetto Genovese
Publisher
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
Classical music
Instrumentation
String quartet

XIII Le cygne (The Swan) Two pianos and cello: This is by far the most famous movement of the suite due to it being a staple of cellists. It is often performed solo and is used to showcase the interpretive skills of the cellist. The lushly romantic cello solo (which evokes the swan elegantly gliding over the water) is played over rippling sixteenths in one piano and rolled chords in the other (representing the swan’s feet, hidden from view beneath the water, propelling it along).The Swan Theme has also been played by a double bass that "sings", sounding gracefully similar to the cello in a version conducted by Leonard Bernstein. A short ballet, The Dying Swan, was choreographed in 1905 by Mikhail Fokine to this movement and performed by Anna Pavlova. Pavlova gave some 4,000 performances of the dance and "swept the world.

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