Chopin’s Nocturne op.9 n.2
The Nocturne op.9 n.2 is one of Chopin’s most famous compositions. It as famous as the Heroic Polonaise op.53 or the Etude op.10 n.12 Revolutionary. The Nocturne op.9 n.2, Here performed by Giovanni Velluti, requires a very composed interpretation to maintain the proper « gusto ».
A large part of the enormous fame Chopin enjoyed during his life in Paris cultural environment was due to his Nocturnes, which perfectly interpreted the feelings of that period. The feelings of the elite of aristocrats to whom they were addressed.
So they became a very fashionable music genre. As the famous british musicologist Hedley noted: “no musical evening [with Chopin] was complete without the notes of the Grande valse brillante in E flat major op.18 or the Nocturne op.9 n.2 in e flat major“.
The music program of our best-selling concert, Opera’s Greatest Hits & Romantic Piano, almost always includes at least one of these pieces by the Polish composer.
Notturnes’ first composer, John Field
The first Nocturnes composer to reach good artistic achievements was John Field. He was an Irishman from Dublin, pupil of the great italian pianist Muzio Clementi. Field became famous in Europe and particularly in Russia. In a statement to a friend Chopin said he considered Field’s Nocturne in E flat the father of modern Nocturnes.
Field’s Nocturnes are clearly inspired to Italian belcanto, as it is this Chopin E flat Nocturne, which reminds closely a Bellini aria. As a matter of fact Chopin in a letter to a pupil suggested him to go to the Opera to listen to Giambattista Rubini (Bellini’s favourite tenor) “then you will understand how to interpret my nocturnes“.
The Accademia Concerts
The Accademia Concerts were the typical concerts of the early 19th century. They featured different genres of music and involving a large number of performers: orchestra, pianists, string players, singers etc.
We have a letter from Chopin, dated 12 August 1829, to his family in Warsaw. He writes: “I made my debut in the Imperial Opera House, this type of event is here called Eine musikalischer Akademie. […] The program was as follows […] Beethoven’s overture, my variations (piano and orchestra), arias interpreted by the Saxon king’s court singer, my Rondo (piano and piano and orchestra) and then still other arias then a little ballet to complete the evening.“