COMPOSITIONS compositions

Nocturne in D flat major, incypit

Genre: Nocturne

Key: D-flat major

Opus/WN: Op. 27 No. 2

Creation date: 1833-1836

Acc. to Paderewski: VII/8

Acc. to Turło: 115

Instruments: piano

Composition dedicated to:

Therese d'Appony


The Nocturne in D flat major, the second of the pair coupled together in opus 27, might be termed an ideal concretisation of the romance variety of nocturne. In the opinion of Chopin monographers, the composer produced nothing more perfect of the sort. Supreme compliments are cast forth from all quarters. Hugo Leichtentritt calls the cantilena that opens the work ‘achingly beautiful’. This opening theme, which is also the work’s principal theme, uttered dolce – always in a lonely (solo) voice – has its complement, pronounced espressivo, always in thirds and sixths, which sound passionately (appassionato) and mellifluously. Yet it is the opening theme that reigns here, undergoing a succession of modifications. The last of them is quite breathtaking.

André Gide, who left us a remarkably well-observed collection of thoughts entitled Notes on Chopin, captured this kind of music in words with exceptional intuition. On one of the pages of his notebook, he remarked: ‘[Chopin] seemed to be constantly seeking, inventing, discovering his thought little by little. This kind of charming hesitation, of surprise and delight, ceases to be possible if the work is presented to us, no longer in a state of successive formation, but as an already perfect, precise and objective whole.’[i]


[i] André Gide, Notes on Chopin, tr. Bernard Frechtman (New York, 1949), 21.

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


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Nocturne in D flat major, Op. 27 No. 2
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