• Kacey Link

Swaying to the Barcarolle

It's summertime and you're in a boat, what can be better than a barcarolle?

A barcarolle is a traditional Venetian boat song performed by the gondoliers. Sometimes you see the word spelled "barcarole" (English) or "barcarola" (Italian), but I like the French spelling that Frédéric Chopin used. Speaking of which, composers, like Chopin, have been inspired by this Italian genre for years. Chopin wrote his famous Barcarolle in F# Major, Op. 60. Felix Mendelssohn wrote numerous Venetian Boat Songs. I recently encountered a great barcarolle by the Paraguayan composer Agustín Barrios, titled "Julia Florida." In most cases, barcarolles are in a compound duple or quadruple meter (6/8, 12/8) and have a swaying boat-like feel.

Here are some of my favorites!

Chopin's Barcarolle in F# Major, Op. 60

Mendelssohn's Song Without Words, Op. 30, no. 6 in F# minor (Venetian Boat Song)

Barrios's "Julia Florida"

#barcarolle #barcarole #gondolasong #venetiangondolasong #pianoteaching #pianolessons