Venetian Gondola Song Op. 30/6 in F#-Minor
Last updated: 09.06.18
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Composer: F. Mendelssohn Suppliers: dbe15.gif
Editor: Geoff Grainger Quartet A+B/T/B/GB(B)
Publisher: Ditty Box Enterprises Publication: DBE 225
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Length: approx. 2½ mins.
Quoting from Dr Scholes excellent The Oxford Companion to Music, a gondola song is a barcarolle supposed to be of the type sung by Venetian gondoliers at their work. They are generally six-in-a-measure time, or in other times in which the beat is divided into three.
Mendelssohn wrote some 48 "songs without words" (German: Lieder ohne Worte) for piano published at intervals between 1832 and 1845 in 6 books. They resemble song melodies with accompaniment nos. 6, 12 and 29 of which being named by him as Venetian Gondola songs. This particular Gondellied (No. 12) is of special personal interest as I first came across it in the form of an ancient, yellowed, crumbling piece of sheet music which was purchased with a number of other items at a German "flea market" in November 2002. Only some several months later did I learn to appreciate its simple beauty when casually fooling around with my bass recorder (sight-reading practice!) playing the bass line on anything at hand lying about. I was so enchanted that I went on to look at other Mendelssohn works and have since enjoyed the delights of his Lieder ohne Worte and other piano pieces.
A tempo of 90 crotchets/min. is suggested.