Frédéric Chopin’s Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60 feels dreamy and autumnal. Its serene, wistful, rocking rhythm transports us far beyond the Venetian gondolier associations we might typically expect in a barcarolle. Musical Romanticism is all about the moment, pulling us into the expressive pathos of a single chord. We get a sense of this mysterious process at work as this music unfolds, from the quiet, shimmering transcendence of this passage, to the shifting harmonic uncertainty here, to the haunting coda, which forms the aftertones of the exuberant climax.
This is one of Chopin’s final works, completed in 1846, three years before his death. Here is Krystian Zimerman’s 1988 recording:
Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.
– Frédéric Chopin
- Chopin: Barcarolle In F Sharp, Op.60, Krystian Zimerman Amazon