Claude Debussy: Golliwogg’s Cake Walk

Claude Debussy Golliwogg’s Cake Walk
Golliwogg’s Cake Walk

Claude Debussy: Golliwogg’s Cake Walk

Year of composition:
1906-1908
Scored for:
for ensemble or chamber orchestra
Composer:
Claude Debussy
Arranger:
Paolo Fradiani (2015)
Instrumentation:
1 1 1 0 - 1 0 0 0 - hp (or pno), str
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)
Duration:
3’
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

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.

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