Theme from “The Dying Swan” (Gottschalk)

This posthumously published piece by Gottschalk is wonderful for moody, saturnine students!

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Louis Gottschalk passed away during a South American concert tour in 1869. The following year, his Opus 100, The Dying Swan (Romance Poetique) was published.

Much of Gottschalk’s music was written with the express purpose of bringing out sadness. In one letter to a publisher, he bragged that he was able to make a whole audience of women cry over the performance of his piece Morte!!

This arrangement attempts to keep as much of the pathos in his work as possible. Slightly abridged, all three themes are present: a very dark G minor melody in 4/4 time, a slightly brighter section in 6ths, and a shimmering G major section in 3/4 time.

Key: G minor, G Major

Mood: melancholy, depressed, inspired

Pedagogy: dynamics, triplets, grand pause


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