top of page

Cradlesong - Fidelis Zitterbart, Jr.


F. Zitterbart, Jr Cradlesong (Excerpt)

F, Zitterbart Cradlesong - Full Piece Recording 

Composer: Fidelis Zitterbart Jr. (1845-1915)


Zitterbart was an American composer from Pittsburgh.  His Austrian father was also a musician.  According to Wikipedia, "Zitterbart composed more than a thousand compositions, nearly all of them remained unpublished during his lifetime."   After his death, his son donated his music to the University of Pittsburgh. 

Date: ? IMSLP says "ca. 1900s"

Original Instrumentation2 violins, viola, cello


Why this one:


I was sort of aimlessly poking around IMSLP and I saw the name "Fidelis Zitterbart, Jr" and I thought "Well... that's a hell of a name."  So I read his biography and learned about his Pittsburgh roots.  I have some connection to Pittsburgh as my parents are from there and my father actually went to U. Pitt.  Zitterbart would also be my first American composer for LMP.



Key:  G

Time: 3/4  BPM=75

Cradlesong is a short song written for 2 violins, viola, and cello.  It's structured AABBCCDAE, with section C and D being marked as a Trio section and E being the Coda / Outro.   

The A, B, C, and E sections are in G major, with the C section being in C major.  The D section is marked as C major, but really serves as a modulating bridge, cycling through different harmonies before leading back to the home key of G for the return to the A section. 


The song, to my ear, has a sweet and relaxed rustic feel, which I suppose is appropriate as a Cradlesong is a lullaby.



I recorded the viola part first, followed by the cello, then violin 2 and violin 1.  This one was pretty easy, so it only took two short sessions to do all four parts.  The only mildly tricky part is the E section coda for violin 1, which took a little bit of work to figure out the best left hand positioning for, but still wasn't all that hard to play once I worked it out.

bottom of page