Top 50 Favorite/Best Classical – #36 Chopin Berceuse in Db major, Op. 57
Coming in at #36 in this beautiful piece from Frédéric Chopin’s late compositional period, the Berceuse in Db major, Op. 57.
Frédéric Chopin composed this gorgeous little lullaby in 1844, originally calling it variations. In Db major, the piece begins with an ostinato bass line that only changes once, near the end. The melody appears two measures in, a lush lullaby. It is repeated in sixteen short variations until it repeats again near the end.
What makes this piece so amazing for me is how he builds up the tension to the Cb note at measure 55. This whole time, the piece floats on the lovely Db major scale. The appearance of the Cb at measure 55 turns the Db into a dominant of Gb, which is what it resolves to an euphoric release before returning back to Db for the conclusion. It is one of my favorite examples of how to properly use the dominant seventh chord.
Chopin had similar fame as his friend, Franz Liszt, and both toured across Europe, Chopin preferring the more cozy atmosphere of a salon to bigger auditoriums. He faced similar health issues as Lili Boulanger, but he managed to live to 39.
This isn’t necessarily the most technically complex, or even melodically unique pieces, and many a great pianist has played it. Here is Irene Veneziano, who gives it a good tempo and sound.
#36 – Chopin Berceuse in Db major, Op. 57
#37- Boulanger Nocturne pour violon et piano
#38 – Schönberg Les Miserables
#39 – Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
#40 – Miranda Hamilton
#41 – Strauss Salomé
#42 – Britten Peter Grimes
#43 – Loewe My Fair Lady
#44 – Liszt Mephisto Waltzes
#45 – Webber Evita
#46 – Poledouris Conan The Barbarian
#47 – Bernstein Trouble in Tahiti
#48 – Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
#49 – Chaminade La Lisonjera, Op. 50
#50 – Beethoven Coriolan Overture, Op. 62