CHOPIN Frédéric, Two Nocturnes Op.27

Chopin completed the pair of Nocturnes Op.27 in 1836 and they were dedicated to Countess Thérèse d’Apponyi, wife of the Austrian ambassador in Paris. In the rather desolate first nocturne, in C sharp minor, the Chopin scholar Arthur Hedley detected hesitation and anxiety, and a mood of night-time and mystery. Its companion piece, in D flat major, serves as a complete contrast, bringing light where there had been darkness. The opening melody – described by Hugo Leichentritt as ‘achingly beautiful’ – unfolds over a gently undulating accompaniment. Listening to this magnificent pair of pieces, it is no surprise that Schumann welcomed Chopin’s nocturnes as heralds of a new age in piano composition.

© Nigel Simeone


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