Tennyson wrote a poem about a dying swan. Inspired by this poem, Camille Saint-Saëns composed a piece that was one movement of a large work of 14 movements entitled The Carnival of the Animals. Le Cygne is the 13th movement of this large work, originally written for cello and two pianos. Later in 1905 a ballet was choreographed to this movement and introduced to the public by the famous Anna Pavlova.
1. Step one: Read the poem located beneath this assignment that was written by Alfred Loyd Tennyson, The Dying Swan.
2. Step two: Watch this video clip of cellist Yo Yo Ma performing Camille Saint-Saëns’ The Swan.
3. Step three: Watch this video clip of Svetlana Zakharova dancing Le Cygne (The Swan).
4. Write a 2-page response paper that addresses/responds to the following items. Discuss the composer’s choices and how they were effective in creating such a dramatic image/moment. Consider the following:
a. instrumentation, the tempo,
b. the decision regarding whether to employ monophony/homophony/polyphony
c. why the musical composition lent itself well to the ballet
d. the poem as source inspiration
e. how the music did/did not reflect the lyricism of the poem
f. whether the music captured the texture of the poem
g. whether the musical colors reflect the essence of the poem
4. MLA format
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