What is a Nocturne anyway?
The nocturne, or “night song,” is a form of classical piano music introduced in the early 1800s Romantic period. While nocturnes are today most closely associated with Frederic Chopin, who wrote 21 of them, the first nocturne was actually written by Irish composer John Field, whose work enthralled and influenced Chopin. More than two dozen composers have written Nocturnes over the last 200+ years and continue to write them today—mainly for piano but for orchestral arrangements as well.
Nocturnes are short lyrical pieces, often written in a minor key, in the ABA style. The middle “B” section is often quite contrasting in both style and tempo and may sometimes be in a major key. However, before venturing too far or too long, we return to the soulful, melancholy mood of the first section.
Linda has chosen 13 pieces in the nocturne style from eight composers, hailing from six countries, and including two pieces written for the left hand only. They take you through the musical "evening," into the depths of night, and on to the dawn. We hope you enjoy them. Listen to the music.