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Article "Elfin Song (1910)" by George Whitefield Chadwick

Image: J.R. Drake portrait
Joseph Rodman Drake, 1795-1820, by T. Kelly, engraver, after a painting by Rogers. Engraving. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-53458

Chadwick dedicated Elfin Song (1910) to S. L. Herrman and the Treble Clef Club. The text choice reflects Chadwick's light, humorous side. He sets an excerpt from Joseph Rodman Drake's The Culprit Fay (1836), with references to "ouphe and goblin, imp and sprite." The work's piano reduction of the original orchestral scoring contains some rapid figuration at an Allegretto vivace tempo.

After a wild fairy dance round the witch hazel tree, the appearance of a beetle causes a key change and a buzzing, 16th-note figure in the accompaniment. Next, the leaf harp sings accompanied by rapid arpeggios. The opening music returns and the fairy figures "skip and gambol merrily" to a pp conclusion.

About this Item


  • "Elfin Song (1910)" by George Whitefield Chadwick


  • -  Chadwick, G. W. (George Whitefield) -- 1854-1931 -- -- composer
  • -  Choral music
  • -  Progressive Era to New Era (1900-1929)
  • -  Songs and Music
  • -  Parlor and Concert Stage
  • -  Articles


  • article

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