We have run a few workshops for ukulele players learning and practising some familiar classical pieces (including Bizet, Schumann, J. Strauss, Offenbach and Albinoni) specially arranged for multi-part ukulele by Richard Sabey. These have been fun and well received, and there was a plan to work towards a performance, though this has been temporarily scotched by coronavirus.
However, our plan is to post some of Richard’s arrangements on this page for anyone to download and learn- or just play along to!
Starting with a new arrangement of The Swan, from Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns.
Saint-Saëns worried that Carnival of the Animals was too fun and would damage his reputation as a serious composer- so he refused to allow it to be performed during his lifetime- with the exception of The Swan, the beautiful cello piece (with accompaniment from two pianos).
For the purists amongst you (no criticism intended, merely excusing myself):
(a) this arrangement does not strictly follow the piano score- try playing it on a ukulele and you’ll see why!- and
(b) The chords shown for ukulele do not, I know, reflect the various inversions used, to lovely effect, by Saint-Saëns – once again, to achieve this would require strenuous and possibly impossible manoeuvrings of the fingers- but I have included a bass ukulele part which I hope gives the effect of those inversions
but in any case I hope that I have made it into a piece which will be pleasing to play along with and (eventually) to play as a ukulele ensemble. Any timing issues are down to sloppy playing on my part.
Below you will find:
(1) PDF scores for each part and
(2) Audio recordings: one is the full version, the others are the full version but with one part missing (so you can have a go at each part and fit it into the whole)
Finally, I have added a DONATION button below. If you enjoy learning, playing or listening to the piece, any donation of any amount is much appreciated, particularly in these trying times- especially as it takes quite some time to arrange, score, record and mix these pieces- thank you!
I have included chord sheets for standard and baritone ukulele (I played baritone for the chords on the recordings and a low G ukulele for the rest). If any baritone players would like me to supply baritone tab for the other parts I would be pleased to do so for a small donation…here are the audio and pdf files:
STRUMMED CHORDS MISSING
LAST 2 BARS EXTRA UKE MISSING
UKULELE 2 TAB MISSING
UKULELE 3 TAB MISSING
the_swan_baritone melody– Thanks to John Marsh for taking the time to tab this for baritone