The French composer Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was a childhood prodigy as a pianist and composer, entering the Paris Conservatoire at only the age of ten. His talent for music was said to have been dazzling; Liszt, famed for his own considerable talent, is thought to have considered Saint-Säens the world’s greatest organist.
The beautiful piece ‘The Swan’ was originally written for cello and orchestra as part of Saint-Saëns’ witty orchestral piece ‘The Carnival of the Animals,’ and it was the only movement which he did not forbid to be performed during his lifetime! The melody line requires great breath control and stamina, and is shared principally between players one and two, although all ensemble members get a share of the tune; meanwhile the cohesive sound of the remaining flute ensemble members provide a watery and elegant backdrop.
2-3 mins approx
Elementary to intermediate
One score and the following separate parts:
Alto Flute (optional)
Bass Flute (optional)
Bb Clarinet (optional)
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Category 4 or more flutes