berceuse was our Word of the Day on 05/02/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of berceuse from the Web
The second of two great septuagenarian pianists passing through New York this week brings with him an all-Chopin program, featuring two sets of nocturnes, a couple of ballades, a scherzo, a berceuse and the third of the composer’s sonatas.
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Did You Know?
The lullaby is a standard of classical music. German composer Johannes Brahms is perhaps best known for his "Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht" ("Good evening, good night"), Op. 49, No. 4, published in 1868, purportedly written for a friend to celebrate the birth of her son. Compositionally, a berceuse is similar to a lullaby, particularly in its soothing refrain often set to a rocking rhythm usually in 6/8 time. Among the earliest examples of works known by that name is Frédéric Chopin's Berceuse in D-flat Major (1843-44), written for piano; Franz Liszt, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Maurice Ravel also composed berceuses. The word berceuse is indicative of its use as an aid to sleep-it derives from the French bercer ("to rock") and ultimately from the Old French bers ("cradle").
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