Many Ways to Play “The Swan”

The Swan, or Le Cygne in French, is a musical piece composed by French composer Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns. It is one movement as part of his larger work The Carnival of the Animals which was completed in 1886.

Here in this YouTube video, you see master cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform a piece called The Swan.  It is classically performed on the cello.

Now here in this other YouTube video, you see that it is possible to play The Swan using a bicycle pump.   Yes, a bicycle pump.  And he did a good job at it too.

Do you think Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns would roll over in his grave if he saw that?  After all, Wikipedia did say that …

“Saint-Saëns forbade complete performances of it [The Carnival of the Animals The Carnival of the Animals] shortly after its première, allowing only one movement, Le cygne (The Swan) for cello and two pianos, to be published in his lifetime.” [source]

Here is an amazing performance of The Swan using bells (and piano).

Here, The Swan is performed on trumpet and piano.

Here, played on flute and harp.

And on guitar and flute.

The Swan seem to sound good with a duet of a wind and string instruments.