COMPOSITIONS compositions

Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1 incypit

Genre: Nocturne

Key: C-sharp minor

Opus/WN: Op. 27 No. 1

Creation date: 1833-1836

Acc. to Paderewski: VII/7

Acc. to Turło: 114

Instruments: piano

Composition dedicated to:

Therese d'Appony


The pair of Nocturnes, Op. 27, attuned by two enharmonic aspects of a single key (C sharp minor / D flat major), seems an ideal realisation of two varieties of the genre.

The Nocturne in C sharp minor (the first) was composed as a nocturne of the elegiac variety. The framework of the piece is filled with what might be termed expectant, elegiac pondering. In the ostensible calm of this melody, Arthur Hedley hears hesitation and anxiety, and in the unusual sound of the peculiarly shaped (far-flung) accompaniment – a mood of deep night and mystery. There soon follows an eruption of violent music, full of passion, in a different tempo, a different metre and a different key. It swells to a climax that sounds like a revolt or a protest. Then another climax, after which the music of elegiac musing returns – that unforgettable recitative, full of dramatic tension.

Attempts have been made to interpret the substance of this nocturnal tale. A rather rash stab at it was made by Jan Kleczyński, who discerned an echo of some gloomy story played out in the scenery and the atmosphere of Venice. An interpretation was also proffered by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, who found in this variety of Chopin’s nocturnes: ‘a nocturnal pondering of faithfulness or love – combined with nocturnal contemplation of the homeland’.

Author: Mieczysław Tomaszewski
[Cykl audycji "Fryderyka Chopina Dzieła Wszystkie"]
Polish Radio, program II


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Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1 Op. 27 No. 1
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