Review: Barcarolle, Op. 46
Among beautiful Barcarolles by Russian composers (I can think of a few, among which a couple of my favorites are Rachmaninov's Op. 5 from the First Suite for Two Pianos, and his Op. 10 No. 3), surely Liapunov's Barcarolle Op. 46 is just as fine, and would stand high among its brethren were it more well known. In G-sharp minor, the Barcarolle has one of those melancholy melodies that goes straight to the heart and is bound to be difficult to remove from one's thoughts. In the standard ABA form, the middle section moves to the major key, relieving the sadness of the previous section, and providing the pianist with some fine filigree passagework, before returning to the minor mode once more. As often with Liapunov, there is a "flashback" before the coda to the middle section, in this case particularly haunting and eerie.