World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

La lugubre gondola

Article Id: WHEBN0020642021
Reproduction Date:

Title: La lugubre gondola  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Franz Liszt, 1883 in music, Totentanz (Liszt), List of compositions by Franz Liszt (S.1–S.350)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

La lugubre gondola

La lugubre gondola is one of Franz Liszt's most important late works.

Its genesis is well documented in letters from which we know that Liszt was Richard Wagner's guest in the Palazzo Vendramin on the Grand Canal in Venice in late 1882. Liszt may have had a premonition there of Wagner's death which inspired the first version of the work: a piano piece in 4/4, written in December 1882 (which remained unpublished until the Rugginenti edition of 2002). This piece was recomposed the next month, in January 1883, and very shortly thereafter arranged for violin or cello and piano. The piano version was published in 1885, with minor changes (this version is today usually called La lugubre gondola II). This was the only version of this piece published in Liszt's lifetime.

Wagner died in Venice on February 13, 1883, and the long funeral procession to Bayreuth began with the funeral gondola to Venice's Santa Lucia railway station. Liszt was by now almost certainly considering the piece to be a Wagner memorial, and in 1885 he returned to the string version and replaced the last three bars with a twenty-bar coda. This was probably done before the publication of the solo version, because the new extended string version does not contain the minor alterations in the published solo version.

According to Liszt's correspondence with Lina Ramann, La Lugubre Gondola was originally to have been entitled Troisième élégie and was to have been dedicated to her.

There is an undated manuscript, clearly from the end of Liszt's life, of a starker version of the piece in 6/8 for piano solo - virtually a new composition. It remained unpublished until 1927, when it was published alongside the other version of the piece, but with the same title. So since 1927, the 4/4 piece has been known as La lugubre gondola II, and the hitherto unpublished 6/8 piece is usually called La lugubre gondola I. It is unfortunate that the numbering which attached itself to these two works puts them out of chronology.

The opening single melodic line of La Lugubre Gondola No. 2 can be seen to be inspired by Wagner’s unending melodies, and the unresolved diminished sevenths and unfinished phrases are reminiscent of the Prelude to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Liszt then develops this into a more lyrical, romantic line.[1]


  • Venice manuscripts (written 1882 and 1883) published by Rugginenti [Milan] in 2002.
  • Cello version and violin version (written 1883) published by Hardie Press [Edinburgh].
  • 1885 4/4 piano version [La lugubre gondola II] and 1880s 6/8 piano version [La lugubre gondola I] published by Editio Musica Budapest.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.