Frédéric Chopin wrote 21 nocturnes for solo piano between 1827 and 1846. They are generally considered among the finest short solo works for the instrument and hold an important place in contemporary concert repertoire.Although Chopin did not invent the nocturne, he popularized and expanded on it, building on the form developed by Irish composer John Field.
Chopin's nocturnes numbered 1 to 18 were published during his lifetime, in twos or threes, in the order of composition. However, numbers 19 and 20 were actually written first, prior to Chopin's departure from Poland, but published posthumously. Number 21 was not originally entitled "nocturne" at all,but since its publication in 1870 as such, it is generally included with publications and recordings of the set.
By the time of Chopin's birth in 1810, John Field was already an accomplished composer. Eventually, the young Chopin became a great admirer of Field, taking some influence from the Irish composer's playing and composing technique.Chopin had composed five of his nocturnes before meeting Field for the first time.
In his youth, Chopin was often told that he sounded like Field, who in turn was later described as sounding "Chopinesque".The composer Friedrich Kalkbrenner, one of Chopin's early influences, once inquired as to whether Chopin was a student of Field. While Chopin held Field in high respect and considered him one of his primary influences, Field had a rather negative view of Chopin's work. Upon meeting Chopin and hearing his nocturnes in 1832, Field is said to have described the composer as a "sickroom talent". Nonetheless, Chopin still admired Field and his work and continued to take inspiration throughout his life.
Chopin's nocturnes carry many similarities with those of Field while at the same time retaining a distinct, unique sound of their own. One aspect of the nocturne that Chopin continued from Field is the use of a song-like melody in the right hand. This is one of the most if not the most important features to the nocturne as a whole. The use of the melody as vocals bestowed a greater emotional depth to the piece, drawing the listener in to a greater extent.Along with the right-hand melody, Chopin continued the use of another nocturne "necessity", that of playing broken chords on the left hand to act as the rhythm under his right-handed "vocal" melody. Another technique used by Field and continued by Chopin was the more extensive use of the pedal. By using the pedal more, the music gains more emotional expression through sustained notes, giving the piece an aura of drama. With these main attributes of the "Field nocturne" Chopin was inspired, and expanded upon them to develop the "Chopin nocturne".
One of the greatest innovations made by Chopin to the nocturne was his use of a more freely flowing rhythm, a technique based on the classical music style. Also, Chopin further developed the structure of the nocturne, taking inspiration from the Italian and French opera arias, as well as the sonata form. Composer Franz Liszt even insisted that Chopin's nocturnes were influenced by Vincenzo Bellini's bel canto arias,a statement affirmed and echoed by many in the music world. A further innovation of Chopin's was his use of counterpoint to create tension in the nocturnes, a method that even further expanded the dramatic tone and feel of the piece itself. It was mainly through these themes of operatic influence, freer rhythms, and an expansion into more complex structures and melodic playing that Chopin made his mark on the nocturne. Many think of the "Chopin nocturne" as a mix between the form and structure of Field and the sound of Mozart, displaying a classic/romantic-influenced theme within the music.
While meters and keys vary, the nocturnes are generally set in ternary form (A–B–A), featuring a melancholy mood, and a clear melody floating over a left-hand accompaniment of arpeggios or broken chords. ♭. From the 7th and 8th nocturnes onwards, Chopin published them in contrasting pairs, although each can stand alone as a complete work. Exceptions to the ternary form pattern include Opus 9 No. 2 and Op. 55 No. 2 in E♭, neither of which contain a contrasting section, Op. 15 No. 3 in binary form with a novel coda, and Op. 37 No. 2 in A–B–A–B–A form.Repetitions of the main theme generally add increasingly ornate embellishments, notably in Opus 9 No. 2 in E
The tempo marking of all but one of the nocturnes is a variation of Lento, Larghetto or Andante, the Allegretto of No. 3 breaking the mould.
Another notable feature of Chopin's nocturnes is that all but three of the pieces end in a major key. This includes all of the nocturnes in minor keys, which, excluding No. 13 in C minor and No. 21 in C minor, end with Picardy Thirds. No. 9 in B major is Chopin's only nocturne in a major key that ends on a minor key (in this case, B minor), although some performers, such as Arthur Rubinstein, chose to end the piece on a B major chord instead.
When first published, Chopin's nocturnes were met with mixed reactions from critics. However, through time, many who had initially been displeased with the nocturnes found themselves retracting previous criticisms, holding the compositions in high regard.
While the popularity of individual nocturnes has varied considerably since Chopin's death, they have retained a significant position in piano repertoire, with the Op. 9 No. 2 in E♭ major and the Op. 27 No. 2 in D♭ major perhaps the most enduringly popular.
Various composers from both Chopin's lifetime and later have expressed their influences from his work with nocturnes. Such artists as Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner display similar melodic techniques and styles in their music as Chopin. Other composers such as Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Liszt described the genius that lay within Chopin's nocturnes.It is clear that these piano compositions made a noticeable and lasting impact on music and composition during the romantic period. The most important later composer of nocturnes was Gabriel Fauré, who greatly admired Chopin and composed thirteen works in this genre. Other later composers who have written solo piano nocturnes include Georges Bizet, Erik Satie, Alexander Scriabin, Francis Poulenc, Samuel Barber, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Lowell Liebermann.
|1||B♭ minor||Op. 9 No. 1||1832||1830–1832||Florence Robineau|
|2||E♭ major||Op. 9 No. 2||1832||1830–1832||Martha Goldstein|
|3||B major||Op. 9 No. 3||1832||1830–1832||Patrizia Prati|
|4||F major||Op. 15 No. 1||1833||1830–1832|
|5||F♯ major||Op. 15 No. 2||1833||1830–1832|
|6||G minor||Op. 15 No. 3||1833||1833||Olga Gurevich|
|7||C♯ minor||Op. 27 No. 1||1837||1836|
|8||D♭ major||Op. 27 No. 2||1837||1836|
|9||B major||Op. 32 No. 1||1837||1837|
|10||A♭ major||Op. 32 No. 2||1837||1837|
|11||G minor||Op. 37 No. 1||1840||1838|
|12||G major||Op. 37 No. 2||1840||1839||Olga Gurevich|
|13||C minor||Op. 48 No. 1||1841||1841||Luke Faulkner|
|14||F♯ minor||Op. 48 No. 2||1841||1841||Luke Faulkner|
|15||F minor||Op. 55 No. 1||1844||1842–1844|
|16||E♭ major||Op. 55 No. 2||1844||1842–1844|
|17||B major||Op. 62 No. 1||1846||1846|
|18||E major||Op. 62 No. 2||1846||1846|
|19||E minor||Op. 72 No. 1||1855||1827–29||Peter Johnston|
|20||C♯ minor||P 1 No. 16||1870||1830||Aaron Dunn|
|21||C minor||P 2 No. 8||1938||1837||Diana Hughes|
Frédéric François Chopin, born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation."
A nocturne is a musical composition that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night.
Frédéric Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu in C♯ minor, Op. posth. 66, is a solo piano composition. It was composed in 1834 and published posthumously in 1855 despite Chopin's instruction that none of his unpublished manuscripts be published. The Fantaisie-Impromptu is one of Chopin's most frequently performed and popular compositions.
Étude Op. 10, No. 12 in C minor, known as the "Revolutionary Étude" or the "Étude on the Bombardment of Warsaw", is a solo piano work by Frédéric Chopin written circa 1831, and the last in his first set, Etudes, Op. 10, dedicated "à son ami Franz Liszt".
Six moments musicaux, Op. 16, is a set of solo piano pieces composed by the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff between October and December 1896. Each Moment musical reproduces a musical form characteristic of a previous musical era. The forms that appear in Rachmaninoff's incarnation are the nocturne, song without words, barcarolle, virtuoso étude, and theme and variations.
Frédéric Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35, is a piano sonata in four movements. Chopin completed the work while living in George Sand's manor in Nohant, some 250 km (160 mi) south of Paris, a year before it was published in 1840. The first of the composer's three mature sonatas, the work is considered to be one of the greatest piano sonatas of the literature.
The Nocturnes, Op. 15 are a set of three nocturnes for solo piano written by Frédéric Chopin between 1830 and 1833. The work was published in January 1834, and was dedicated to Ferdinand Hiller. These nocturnes display a more personal approach to the nocturne form than that of the earlier Opus 9. The melodies and emotional depth of these nocturnes have thus been thought of as more "Chopinesque."
Frédéric Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58, is the last of the composer's piano sonatas. Completed in 1844 and dedicated to Countess Émilie de Perthuis, the work is considered to be one of Chopin's most difficult compositions, both technically and musically.
The Nocturnes, Op. 9 are a set of three nocturnes for solo piano written by Frédéric Chopin between 1831 and 1832, published in 1832, and dedicated to Madame Marie Pleyel. These were Chopin's first published set of nocturnes. The second nocturne of the work is often regarded as Chopin's most famous piece.
Étude Op. 10, No. 6, in E♭ minor, is a study for solo piano composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1830. It was preceded by the relative key. It was first published in 1833 in France, Germany, and England as the sixth piece of his Études, Op. 10. The tempo Andante in 6
8 and con molto espressione indicate a more moderate playing speed than Chopin's other études with the exception of Op. 10, No. 3 and Op. 25, No. 7. This étude focuses on expressivity and chromatic structuring of the melody as well as polyphonic texture.
The Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52 is a ballade for solo piano by Frédéric Chopin, completed in 1842 in Paris. It is commonly considered one of Chopin's masterpieces, and one of the masterpieces of 19th-century piano music.
The Nocturnes, Op. 27 are a set of two nocturnes for solo piano composed by Frédéric Chopin. The pieces were composed in 1836 and published in 1837. Both nocturnes in this opus are dedicated to Countess d'Appony.
The Nocturnes, Op. 32 are a set of two nocturnes for solo piano written and published by Frédéric Chopin in 1837. The nocturnes are dedicated to Madame Camile de Billing, and were his 9th and 10th nocturnes published.
The Nocturnes, Op. 37 are a set of two nocturnes for solo piano written and published by Frédéric Chopin in 1840, though it is thought that the Nocturne in G major, Op. 37, No. 2 was composed in 1839 around the time of his stay with author George Sand in Majorca. Unusually, neither piece carries a dedication.
The Nocturnes, Op. 48 are a set of two nocturnes for solo piano written by Frédéric Chopin in 1841 and published the following year in 1842. They are dedicated to Mlle. Laure Duperré. Chopin later sold the copyright for the nocturnes for 2,000 francs along with several other pieces.
The Nocturne in E minor, Op. posth. 72, No. 1, was composed by Frédéric Chopin for solo piano in 1827. It was Chopin's first composed nocturne, although it was the 19th to be published, in 1855, along with two other early works: a Funeral March in C minor and Three Ecossaises. The composition features an unbroken line of quaver triplets in the left hand set against a slow melody of minims, crotchets, quaver duplets and triplets. It consists of 57 bars of common time with the tempo given as Andante, 69 bpm.
The two Nocturnes, Op. 55 are a set of two nocturnes for solo piano written by Frédéric Chopin. They are his fifteenth and sixteenth installations in the genre, and were composed between 1842 and 1844, and published in August 1844.
The two Nocturnes Op. 62 are a set of two nocturnes for solo piano by Frédéric Chopin were published in 1846 and dedicated to Mdlle. R. de Konneritz. These are Chopin's final compositions in the genre, although they were not the last to be published.
Frédéric Chopin's Variations on "Là ci darem la mano" for piano and orchestra, Op. 2, was written in 1827, when he was aged 17. "Là ci darem la mano" is a duet sung by Don Giovanni and Zerlina in act 1 of Mozart's 1787 opera Don Giovanni. Chopin dedicated his composition to his schoolfriend Tytus Woyciechowski. Chopin's work inspired Robert Schumann's famous exclamation: "Hats off, gentlemen, a genius." The work is often recorded and played in concert. A typical performance lasts from 17 to 19 minutes.
The French composer Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924) wrote in many genres, including songs, chamber music, orchestral pieces, and choral works. His compositions for piano, written between the 1860s and the 1920s, include some of his best known works.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nocturnes by Frédéric Chopin .|