The Nocturne in G major is a barcarolle, and a sunny one at that. It is also an étude in double notes. The major problem facing the interpreter is to find a tempo at which the beginning is playable, and the lyrical section with which it alternates doesn’t drag too much, even though it is marked sostenuto. Chopin builds up the tension at the end, pausing on a diminished seventh chord, but then releases it in the most natural of ways. This set was entitled Les Soupirs
by Chopin’s publisher in England. How he must have loved being asked to play his ‘Second Sigh’ by English ladies!
from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2004