Mendelssohn: Song Without Words in F-sharp minor “Venetian Boat-Song No. 2,” Op. 30, No. 6 (Upper Intermediate)

Marked Allegretto tranquillo, this Song Without Words has a flowing accompaniment and very expressive melodic line. This song moves at a faster pace than the Boat Song in G minor, Op. 19, No. 6, and has a more open, less subdued feel. The first hint of a melody—in double thirds, as a duet—is introduced as part of the accompaniment in measures 5–6 and the melodic line itself seems to emerge from this part of the accompaniment. After the double bar, the duet that was only hinted at in measures 5–6 takes center stage, reinforcing the two elements that make up both the melody and accompaniment: single-note lines and double thirds.

Pay special attention to instances of repeated notes, measures 7–9, 15–17, and 37–39. The risk is that the five successive C-sharps sound too similar, creating stasis. Take into account the carefully placed hairpins that denote a slight crescendo to the high A—an expressive means that follows the contour of the melodic line but is at odds with the meter, making it more striking.

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