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A barcarole (from French, also barcarolle; originally, Italian barcarola, ; sometimes barcolle) is a folk song sung by Venetian gondoliers, or a piece of music composed in that style. In classical music, two of the most famous barcaroles are those by Jacques Offenbach, from his opera The Tales of Hoffmann and Frédéric Chopin's Barcarole in F sharp major for solo piano.

Contents

Description

A barcarole is characterized by a rhythm reminiscent of the gondolier's stroke, almost invariably a moderate tempo 6/8 meter.[1]

While the most famous barcaroles are from the Romantic period, the genre was well-enough known in the 18th century for Burney to mention, in The Present State of Music in France and Italy (1771), that it was a celebrated form cherished by "collectors of good taste".[2]

Examples

The barcarole was a popular form in opera, where the apparently artless sentimental style of the folklike song could be put to good use: in addition to the Offenbach example, Paisiello, Weber, and Rossini wrote arias which were barcaroles, Gaetano Donizetti set the Venetian scene at the opening of Marino Faliero (1835) with a barcarole for a gondolier and chorus, and Verdi included a barcarole in Un Ballo in Maschera (i.e., Richard's atmospheric "Di’ tu se fidele il flutto m’aspetta" in Act I).[2]

Arthur Sullivan set the entry of Sir Joseph Porter's barge (also bearing his sisters, cousins and aunts) in HMS Pinafore to a barcarole. Schubert, while not using the name specifically, used a style reminiscent of the barcarole in some of his most famous songs, including especially his haunting "Auf dem Wasser zu singen" ("to be sung on the water"), D.774.[2]

Other barcaroles include: the three Venetian gondolier's songs from Songs without Words, opus 19, opus 30 and opus 62 by Felix Mendelssohn; the "June" barcarole from Tchaikovsky's The Seasons; Charles-Valentin Alkan's barcarole from the Op. 65 Troisième recueil de chants; Béla Bartók's "Barcarolla" from Out of Doors; Leonard Bernstein's The Kings' Barcarole from Candide; several examples by Anton Rubinstein, Mily Balakirev, Alexander Glazunov, Edward MacDowell, and Ethelbert Nevin; and most impressively of all, the collection of thirteen by Gabriel Fauré for solo piano.[2]

In the 20th century, examples include guitarist Agustin Barrios's Julia Florida, the second movement of Villa-Lobos's "Trio no. 2" contains a Berceuse-Barcarolla (1915), and Ned Rorem wrote his Barcaroles in Morocco (1949).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Randel, Harvard Dictionary of Music
  2. ^ a b c d Brown, Maurice: New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980)

References

  • The New Harvard Dictionary of Music, ed. Don Randel. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1986. ISBN 0-674-61525-5
  • Brown, Maurice, "Barcarolle", in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1-56159-174-2

Music of Italy
Genres: Classical: Opera
Pop: Rock (Hardcore) - Hip hop - Folk - jazz - Progressive rock
History and Timeline
Awards Italian Music Awards
Charts Federation of the Italian Music Industry
Festivals Sanremo Festival - Umbria Jazz Festival - Ravello Festival - Festival dei Due Mondi - Festivalbar
Media Music media in Italy
National anthem Il Canto degli Italiani
Regional scenes
Aosta Valley - Abruzzo - Basilicata - Calabria - Campania - Emilia-Romagna - Florence - Friuli-Venezia Giulia - Genoa - Latium - Liguria - Lombardy - Marche - Milan - Molise - Naples - Piedmont - Puglia - Rome - Sardinia - Sicily - Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol - Tuscany - Umbria - Veneto - Venice
Related topics
Opera houses - Music conservatories - Terminology

A barcarolle (from French; also Italian barcarola, barcarole) is a folk song sung by Venetian gondoliers, or a piece of music composed in that style. In classical music, the three most famous barcarolles are those by Jacques Offenbach, from his opera The Tales of Hoffmann, Frédéric Chopin's Barcarolle in F sharp major for solo piano, and guitarist Agustin Barrios's Julia Florida.

A barcarolle is characterized by a rhythm reminiscent of the gondolier's stroke, almost invariably a moderate tempo 6/8 meter. While the most famous barcarolles are from the Romantic period, the genre was well-enough known in the 18th century for Burney to mention, in The Present State of Music in France and Italy (1771), that it was a celebrated form cherished by "collectors of good taste." It was a popular form in opera, where the apparently artless sentimental style of the folklike song could be put to good use: in addition to the Offenbach example, Paisiello, Weber, and Rossini wrote arias which were barcarolles, Gaetano Donizetti set the Venetian scene at the opening of Marino Faliero (1835) with a barcarolle for a gondolier and chorus, and Verdi included a barcarolle in Un Ballo in Maschera: (Richard's atmospheric "Di’ tu se fidele il flutto m’aspetta" in Act I). Arthur Sullivan set the entry of Sir Joseph Porter's barge (also bearing his sisters, cousins and aunts) in HMS Pinafore to a barcarolle. Schubert, while not using the name specifically, used a style reminiscent of the barcarolle in some of his most famous songs, including especially his haunting "Auf dem Wasser zu singen" ("to be sung on the water"), D.774.

Other barcarolles include the three Venetian gondolier's songs from Songs without Words, opus 19, opus 30 and opus 62 by Felix Mendelssohn; the "June" barcarolle from Tchaikovsky's The Seasons; Charles-Valentin Alkan's barcarolle from the Op. 65 Troisième recueil de chants; Béla Bartók's "Barcarolla" from Out of Doors; Leonard Bernstein's The Kings' Barcarolle from Candide; several examples by Anton Rubinstein, Mily Balakirev, Alexander Glazunov, Edward MacDowell, and Ethelbert Nevin; and most impressively of all, the collection of thirteen by Gabriel Fauré for solo piano. In the 20th century, the second movement of Villa-Lobos's "Trio no. 2" contains a Berceuse-Barcarolla (1915), and Ned Rorem wrote his Barcarolles in Morocco (1949).

See also

References and further reading

  • The New Harvard Dictionary of Music, ed. Don Randel. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1986. ISBN 0-674-61525-5
  • Article "Barcarolle", in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1-56159-174-2


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Barcarolle
by Théophile Gautier, translated by Frederic Cesar De Sumichrast and Agnes Lee
From the French Barcarolle.

Tell me, beautiful maiden,
    Whither wouldst thou away,
To what shore blossom-laden,
    Through the wind and the spray?

Oars of ivory are gleaming,
Silken banners are streaming,
    Golden-bright is the prow.
I’ve a page fair and minion,
For a sail a saint's pinion,
    And for ballast a bough.

Tell me, beautiful maiden,
    Whither wouldst thou away,
To what shore blossom-laden,
    Through the wind and the spray?

Tell me, what is thy pleasure,
A wide ocean to measure?
    A far island to claim?
Wreaths of snow-flowers to fashion,
Or to linger with passion
    Near the flower of the flame?

Tell me, beautiful maiden,
    Whither wouldst thou away,
To what shore blossom-laden,
    Through the wind and the spray?

“To the land ever vernal,
Where love liveth eternal,
    Ah, take me!” she sighs.
Sweet, this land of thy seeing
Hath no place and no being,
    Under any love skies!








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