The Nocturnes, Op. 32 is a suite of two nocturnes written and published by Frédéric Chopin in 1837. The nocturnes are dedicated to Madame Camile de Billing, and were his 9th and 10th nocturnes published.
The Nocturne in B major is initially marked andante sostenuto and is in 4/4 meter. There are several ritardando markings throughout, followed by a tempo marking in the next measure, such as in measure 7, 8,17 and 18. The piece transitions to adagio in the last two measures, starting in measure 64. The piece is 65 measures long and, unusually, ends in the tonic minor key, B minor, although some editions (such as those by Rafael Joseffy as well as Chopin’s student Carl Mikuli) and performances (such as that by Arthur Rubinstein) end with a B major chord, which has the effect of a Picardy third in the context of the minor-mode coda. There has also been confusion over a key in the first bar of the last line: Theodor Kullak and Karl Klindworth use a G, while Julian Fontana used an F-sharp.
David Dubal found the nocturne to be “of less importance, though characteristic in design and melodic contour.” He also states the coda “completely shocks the listener out of reverie.” According to Berkeley, the ending “defies analysis, but compels acceptance.” Jim Samson states that “The interruption of the song by this startling passage of instrumental recitative submits to no formal logic, but rather brings directly into the foreground Chopin’s desire to make the music ‘speak’.” James Huneker found the F-minor section to “[broaden] out to dramatic reaches” though he still viewed the overall piece negatively. The ending was both “dramatic and original” to James Friskin, in comparison to the simplicity of the rest of the piece.
Chopin – Nocturne Op. 32 No. 1
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