Claude Debussy: Golliwogg’s Cake Walk

(Arranger: Paolo Fradiani)

  • for ensemble or chamber orchestra
  • 1 1 1 0 - 1 0 0 0 - hp (or pno), str
  • Duration: 3’
  • Instrumentation details:
    flute
    oboe
    clarinet in Bb
    horn in F
    harp (or piano)
    violin I
    violin II
    viola
    violoncello
    double bass (strings: single or multiple players)
  • Composer: Claude Debussy
  • Arranger: Paolo Fradiani

Stage performances

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Work introduction

In this piece, based on the lively African American dance of Cake Walk, the playful character is mainly preserved thanks to the clarinet theme, as the clarinet is considered the liveliest instrument of the orchestra, used by many other authors to emphasize lively, playful or joking passages. In this work, the theme is also entrusted to other winds except for the central episode, a quotation of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, where the strings, with which the melody is entrusted with an intense and expressive character, stand out. The arrangement is brilliant and of high timbral variety thanks to the use of the percussive pizzicato of the strings which is the background of the dancing theme.

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

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