Saint-Saens – The Swan (Le cygne) for cello and piano

Saint-Saens – The Swan (Le cygne) for cello and piano. You can download the PDF sheet music Saint-Saens – The Swan for cello and piano on this page. Le cygne or The Swan, is the 13th and penultimate movement of The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns. Originally scored for solo cello accompanied by two pianos, it has been arranged and transcribed for many instruments but remains best known as a cello solo.
To view the first page of Saint-Saens – The Swan for cello and piano click the music sheet image.
PDF format sheet music

Cello part: 1 pages. 61 K

Piano part: 3 pages. 425 K

Instrument part - First page Piano part - First page

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The piece is in 6/4 time, with a key signature of G major and a tempo marking andantino grazioso. The slow cello melody is accompanied by almost constant broken chord figurations on the pianos. When performed as a separate movement, not in the context of The Carnival, The Swan is frequently played with accompaniment on only one piano.

This is the only movement from The Carnival of the Animals that the composer allowed to be played in public during his lifetime. He thought the remaining movements were too frivolous and would damage his reputation as a serious composer.

Because of its slow tempo and mostly legato performance indications, the movement is suitable for performance on the theremin and has joined Sergei Rachmaninoff's Vocalise and Jules Massenet's Méditation from his opera Thaïs among the classical works central to the theremin repertoire.

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