In 19th century romantic music, a piano ballad (most often spelled ballade) is a genre of solo piano pieces written in a balletic narrative style, often with lyrical elements interspersed. This type of work made its first appearance with Chopin's Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 of 1831–35, closely followed by the ballad included in Clara Schumann's Soirées musicales Op. 6 published in the same year.
Ballades have often been characterized as "narrative" in style, "[musical] parts [that] succeed one another in a determined order... their succession is governed by the relationships of causing and resulting by necessity or probability."
Ballades sometimes alluded to their literary predecessors. Some had obvious or supposed literary associations. For example, the four ballads of Chopin were supposedly inspired by the poetry of Adam Mickiewicz, a friend. However, no such evidence directly from the composer exists. There was, in fact, no concrete association to literature until Brahms debuted his four ballads (Op. 10), which bear the title "After the Scottish ballad 'Edward' ".
Piano ballades have been written since the 19th century; several have been composed in the 20th century (see below).
Collaborative piano balladesEdit
The piano has also been used in works featuring other instruments, as well as voice. For example, Robert Schumann, a romantic composer and husband of Clara Schumann, wrote a set of two songs, Balladen, Op. 122 (1852–53) which were written for piano and voice. Claude Debussy, a later composer, also wrote for piano and voice with his Trois ballades de François Villon ( , 1910).
Works for piano and orchestra also bearing the title "ballade" have been written. These include Fauré's Ballade, Op. 19, which was written in 1881, and Charles Koechlin's Ballade for piano and orchestra, Op. 50, written between 1911–1919. This work also exists as a solo work for piano.
- Frédéric Chopin
- Four Ballades: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 (1831–1835)
- Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op. 38 (1836–1839)
- Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 47 (1840–1841)
- Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52 (1842)
- Clara Schumann, one of the 6 Soirées musicale, Ballade in D minor, written in 1836
- César Franck, Ballade, Op. 9, written in 1844
- Franz Liszt, Ballade in D-flat major, written in 1845–48, and Ballade in B minor, written in 1853
- Johannes Brahms, Ballades, Op. 10, written in 1854, consists of four ballads
- Edvard Grieg, Ballade in the Form of Variations on a Norwegian Folk Song, Op. 24, written in 1875–76
- John Ireland, Ballad (aka Ballade) (1929)
- John Ireland, Ballade of London Nights (1930)
- Humphrey Searle, Ballade for piano, Op. 10, written in 1947
- Alan Rawsthorne Ballade, written in 1967
- Samuel Barber, Ballade for Piano, Op. 46, written in 1977
- Norman Demuth, Ballade triste
- George Perle, Ballade, written in 1981 for Richard Goode
- William Bolcom, Ballade, written for Ursula Oppens, premiered January 21, 2008
- Music Research Forum. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. 15–16: 85. 2000 https://books.google.com/books?id=k2MJAQAAMAAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s. Retrieved 1 September 2019. Missing or empty
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- Jim Samson, "Chopin and Genre", Music Analysis 8, no. 3 (October 1989): 213–231. Reference on 216–17.
- Berger, Karol, "The Form of Chopin's Ballade, Op. 23". 19th-Century Music, Vol. 20, No. 1 (1996). p. 46
- Brown, Maurice J. E. "Ballade (ii)", The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2nd ed. 2001.