Frédéric Chopin: Nocturne in Eb Major, Op.9, No.2
Frédéric Chopin composed the three nocturnes of Opus. 9 in 1832 and dedicated them to Madame Marie Pleyel. Although all three nocturnes are popular in solo piano repertory, number two is considered to be Chopin’s most famous and most performed work. Considering these nocturnes were composed when the composer was just twenty years old says an awful lot about Chopin’s talents as a composer and pianist.
Written in 12/8 time, this slow and delicate nocturne is in binary form. After the initial melody is played, the sections that follow soon after add decoration and ornamentation to each reprise of the melody. Chopin’s manipulation of the time to create dramatic jumps and emotional twists and turns is perhaps why it has remained such a popular work in his oeuvre. With each repetition of the melody, the decorations become more elaborate – from elongated trills to decorative tones. The sonorous nocturne is accompanied by a waltz-like left hand figure, which keeps the shape of the piece throughout. After the final reprise of the melody, Nocturne in Eb major concludes quietly as the final notes fade into silence.
Ⓒ Alex Burns