Frédéric Chopin – Nocturnes, Op. 37
The Nocturnes, Op. 37 are a set of two nocturnes written and published by Frédéric Chopin in 1840, though it is thought that the Nocturne in G major, Op. 37, No. 2 was composed in 1839 around the time of his stay with author George Sand in Majorca. Unusually, neither piece carries a dedication.
This set of nocturnes was originally considered to be one of the better sets, yet its popularity slowly decreased in the twentieth century. Blair Johnson maintains, however, that the pieces are still “wonderful specimens, being something of a hybrid between the more dramatic Opus 27 and the far simpler textures and moods of Opus 32.” Robert Schumann commented that they were “of that nobler kind under which poetic ideality gleams more transparently.” Schumann also said that the “two nocturnes differ from his earlier ones chiefly through greater simplicity of decoration and more quiet grace.”
Gustav Barth commented that Chopin’s nocturnes are definite signs of “progress” in comparison to John Field’s original nocturnes, though the improvements are “for the most part only in technique.” However, David Dubal feels that the pieces are “more aptly described as ballades in miniature.”