Perhaps you have read this poem by Lermontov:
On the blue waves of the ocean,
Only the stars will flash in the sky,
The ship's lone rushing,
Do not bend high mast,
They weathervanes no noise,
And silently in the open hatches
Cast iron cannon look.
't hear it captain,
't see sailors on it.
But the rocks and hidden shoals,
And storm him uneasy.
Next comes the story of how the ship sticks to a deserted island. The Emperor is from the tomb and his way to France. Called this poem "Air ship". It's a ballad.
Long and complex history of the genre ballad. The word comes from the Italian ballare - dance. Once a long time ago ballads called dance songs. In the middle ages ballad turned into a narrative songs warehouse. Sang them to the accompaniment of any instrument. Told them about different historical events on people's lives, knightly feats, predatory raids...
And in the XIX century ballad was born anew in professional art. She became a literary genre. It is referred to poets of different countries Goethe and Hugo, Heine and Mickiewicz, Pushkin and Lermontov...
The ballad is a narrative. But the story is not simple. Must be present elements of fiction. For outwardly calm form always hidden a large internal drama. Read "Air ship" and you will feel it.
And then the ballad regained music. After the poets it has been used by composers. "Erlkönig" by Schubert, "the Night show" Glinka, "the Forgotten" Mussorgsky - great vocal work that uses the texts of poetic ballads and preserving their main features.
M. Glinka, words Century. Zhukovsky. Night show.
Takes Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Composers sought to Express in music the story of the ballad and often gave her features portrayal. For example, in the accompaniment ballads Schubert's "erlkönig" we can clearly hear the rhythm of rapid jumps.
F. Schubert. Forest king
Performed by: Boris Gmyrya (bass), Leo Ostrin (piano)
Then appeared and instrumental, is not associated with the word ballads. Was the first to compose such ballads Polish composer Frederic Chopin. Contemporaries believed that two of his four piano ballads inspired by the poetic ballads Adam Mickiewicz - "Konrad Wallenrod" - the narrative of heroic exploits and death for the Fatherland, and "Switezianki" - the legend of mermaids living on the shore of lake the Lake.
F. Chopin. Ballade in g minor op. 23 No.1
Performed By Andrei Gavrilov
Wonderful ballad for piano was written and the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. He never explained its content, but the stock music suggests that his ballad - the story of Norway, about her past, about the time of the legendary Viking raids, about its nature...
F. Chopin. Ballade No. 1 in g minor
Performed by Arthur Rubinstein (piano)
Modern foreign and Soviet composers often write ballads for voice, choir or different tools. Many of you probably heard "the Ballad of the knight" from symphonic cantata Y. A. Shaporin "On the field of Kulikovo", "Ballad of a soldier" V. P. Solovyev-Sedoy, and some can be played very beautiful, dramatic ballads N. P. Rakov for piano.
Ballad of a soldier (words Malthusische, music Soloviev-Sedoy)
Sings Sergey Zakharov