Hyperion Records

Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 1
composer
1835; published 1836; Larghetto

Recordings
'In the Night' (CDA67996)
In the Night
Pre-order CD by post £10.50 CDA67996  May 2014 Release  
'Chopin: Nocturnes' (CDD22013)
Chopin: Nocturnes
Buy by post £10.50 CDD22013  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)  
'Chopin: Nocturnes & Impromptus' (CDA67371/2)
Chopin: Nocturnes & Impromptus
Buy by post £20.00 CDA67371/2  2CDs   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Chopin: Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3' (CDA67706)
Chopin: Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67706 
'Chopin: Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3' (CDA30006)
Chopin: Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3
Buy by post £8.50 CDA30006  Hyperion 30th Anniversary series  
'Chopin: The Complete Works' (CDS44351/66)
Chopin: The Complete Works
Buy by post £50.00 CDS44351/66  16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Alfred Cortot – The Late Recordings, Vol. 3 – Chopin & Mendelssohn' (APR5573)
Alfred Cortot – The Late Recordings, Vol. 3 – Chopin & Mendelssohn
Buy by post £8.50 APR5573 
'Chopin: Nocturnes & Impromptus' (SACDA67371/2)
Chopin: Nocturnes & Impromptus
SACDA67371/2  2CDs Super-Audio CD — Deleted  
Details
Track 5 on CDA67996 [5'13] May 2014 Release
Track 7 on CDS44351/66 CD8 [5'40] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 6 on CDA30006 [5'18] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 6 on CDA67706 [5'18]
Track 9 on CDD22013 CD1 [5'29] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Track 3 on APR5573 [4'33]
Track 9 on SACDA67371/2 CD1 [5'41] 2CDs Super-Audio CD — Deleted

Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 1
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The genre title ‘nocturne’ was fairly commonplace in early nineteenth-century piano music, influenced no doubt by the enhanced cultural status of the night (famous texts by Novalis and Madame de Staël), and also by the growing importance of the salon as a site of pianism. Initially it was applied to a wide diversity of pieces, but in the hands of John Field and Chopin it came to be associated with a pianistic style shaped by vocal imitation, whether of the French romance or the Italian aria. By the time Chopin came to compose his Nocturnes Op 27 in 1835, the genre was already a well-established one, with the archetype of the ‘nocturne sound’—ornamental melody supported by widespread arppeggiations—firmly in place. The Nocturnes of Op 27 broadly conform to this, but they did mark an intriguing change in how Chopin presented this genre to the world. From this point onwards, he published his Nocturnes in contrasted pairs rather than in groups of three, giving greater weight to the individual pieces within an opus but at the same time preserving a sense of their mutual compatibility. Chopin was happy to perform the individual Nocturnes of Op 27 separately (especially the second, which he played in Paris, England and Scotland), but he conceived them as perfectly complementary, with the darkly brooding C sharp minor of the first (James Huneker referred to ‘the gloomiest and grandest of Chopin’s moody canvasses’) transformed enharmonically into the consolatory, oneiric D flat major of the second. That these were pieces of exceptional artistic quality was immediately recognized when they were published in 1836, not least by Schumann in the pages of Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, where he described them as exemplifying a ‘new wave’ of piano music.

There are two formal principles underlying a good deal of Chopin’s music, and they are neatly exemplified by the two Nocturnes of Op 27. The C sharp minor relies on contrast. It is an expansive ternary design in which the middle section steps up the tempo and even more the drama, culminating in a brief waltz-like episode (another typical gesture; compare the First Ballade and Second Scherzo). The D flat major, on the other hand, is through-composed and goal-directed, and its construction is immensely subtle. There are two alternating melodies, of which the first is non-repetitive and aria-like, elaborated with an ever more expressive ornamentation, but remaining essentially static, if music can ever be static. The energy and momentum is provided by the second, stanzaic melody, which is developmental in character. Here the ornamentation has a rather different function. It is not so much an expressive enhancement of the melody as a means of driving the music in a dynamic and evolutionary way towards its major tension points; in other words it plays a key structural role in the music. Taken together, the two themes represent Chopin’s ornamental melody at its finest. The opera house was one obvious influence; Mozart another.

from notes by Jim Samson © 2009

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDA30006 track 6
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-08-70606
Duration
5'18
Recording date
17 March 2008
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Chopin: Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3 (CDA30006)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: October 2010
    Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
  2. Chopin: Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3 (CDA67706)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: January 2009
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