The Nocturnes, Op. 9 are a set of three nocturnes
written by Frédéric Chopin between 1830 and 1832 and
dedicated to Madame Camille Pleyel. The work was
published in 1833.
Chopin composed this popular Nocturne in E-flat major,
Op. 9, No. 2 when he was about twenty and it is in
rounded binary form (A, A, B, A, B, A) with coda, C.
The A and B sections become increasingly ornamented
with each recurrence. The penultimate bar utilizes
considerable rhythmic freedom, indicated by the
instruction, senza tempo (without tempo). Nocturne in
E-flat major opens with a legato melody, mostly played
piano, containing graceful upward leaps which becomes
increasingly wide as the line unfolds. This melody is
heard again three times during the piece. With each
repetition, it is varied by ever more elaborate
decorative tones and trills. The nocturne also includes
a subordinate melody, which is played with rubato.
A sonorous foundation for the melodic line is provided
by the widely spaced notes in the accompaniment,
connected by the damper pedal. The waltz like
accompaniment gently emphasizes the 12/8 meter, 12
beats to the measure subdivided into four groups of 3
The nocturne is reflective in mood until it suddenly
becomes passionate near the end. The new concluding
melody begins softly but then ascends to a high
register and is played forcefully in octaves,
eventually reaching the loudest part of the piece,
marked fortissimo. After a trill-like passage, the
excitement subsides; the nocturne ends calmly.
Although originally composed for solo piano, I created
this arrangement for Solo Viola & Acoustic Piano.