Everyone should have a party piece or two. One of mine is the Chopin Berceuse. My piano teacher played some of this for me when I was a young teenager, and I remember clearly the first time I heard those magical grace-notes, which ornament the melody near the beginning of the piece.

I finally learned it, many years later, and incorporated it into my CD piano among friends. The iridescent flourishes of the melody are made even more beautiful because of the contrasting simplicity of the left hand accompaniment, which remains almost unchanged throughout the lullaby. While practising this (and other works by Chopin) I use the same techniques which I demonstrate in my video about learning to play Chopin.

When I perform the Berceuse I usually pair it with the Barcarolle, and its dreams of Venetian gondolas and gondoliers. Now I can hardly imagine one, without the other. Here are both of them. I hope you enjoy.

Berceuse, Op. 57, by Frédéric Chopin.
Barcarolle, Op. 60, by Frédéric Chopin.
Both recorded at the Banff Centre’s Rolston Recital Hall.

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