Chopin, and one of his most famous, and perhaps most beautiful works was his Nocturne Pop. 27#2. From the very beginning, it is clear as to why this music is Romantic. The quiet sextuplets underneath a very distinguishable melody, along with dramatic risings and failings allow the listener to recognize the Romantic qualities. But there are other things that “give it away. ” The extended range of the piano that was introduced during this time period is brought out in several spots, especially in m. 4, where a addenda in the right hand is raised an octave. Also, the way the right and left hands are aligned, the melody sounds stretched, as if it is solely an interpretation by the performer. While this piece and many works are heavily influenced by one’s interpretation, emphasis on the middle beats of the sextuplets make them sound as if they are on the downbeat, thus making the melody sound stretched, at least to a listener with no exposure to this piece.
While earlier piano pieces from the Classical period may use the left hand as purely accompaniment, this uses the left hand for lour, and allows the right hand to seem more lenient with the rhythms. This, along with the variety of note-values and groupings, give the right hand the ability to sounds like a time-governed cadenza. The ideas of Romanticism are heavily emphasized by Chopping musical creations. It is quite obvious that this Nocturne, along with the majority of Chopping other works, carries a strophic form.
The theme is repeated and built upon, though it is never more than a few measures long before moving on to the next motive. The book even states that the ” ‘A’ theme unfolds unpredictably through constant variation. In a less touchy-feely sort of way, the phonetic aspects of the piece contribute to the tension and calmness involved in the “story’ of the Nocturne. As mentioned above, the sense of rhythmic duress is nothing more than a piece of the puzzle that helps make the Nocturne a piece of Romantic.
The syntax of the evolving theme help create the semantics, or the senses, that Chopin hoped to achieve. While the unraveling is somewhat unpredictable, the entire point of this Nocturne is to allow the listener to experience the character; the semantics of the piece. Without a doubt, a listener that s able to appreciate music, even at a very basic level, should have an idea as to what the composer was trying to achieve. A listener may feel calm, tranquil, or stress-free, even as the climax of the B section takes place.
The ideas discussed in class of what Romanticism is (return to nature, emphasis on feelings, rediscovery of the past) all fit into one’s ability to relate to the music: a key factor in Romantic ideology. The ability for one to put their own story to a Romantic piece of work is one of the beautiful things about this time period. Since the requirements for this paper were for me to ask questions, I decided to ask myself a question as to what I felt or thought of when hearing it. So, here goes. The story is something that I cherish has happened very recently.
The beginning represents a love, something I shared over the summer with someone. I couldn’t help but feel a constant longing to be with them, let alone be away and not think about them at all times of the day. Life was pleasant to say the least. But, things didn’t work out the way I thought they would. My feelings weren’t before returning to school so I wouldn’t have to feel the pain as much and start the master off poorly. This would represent the A and B sections. The repetition of A has not happened quite yet. I am saving that for the final love.
The one that lasts up until the day I die a peaceful death, which is represented by the ending. The story is not something that I’m good at describing in words, at least on paper. I typically don’t have an issue letting my feelings come out with close friends or with someone a bit more “significant. ” But this piece constantly reminds me of how I feel, what I’m capable of feeling, and ultimately, what I want out of life. Every person who listens to this piece can ultimately put a story of their own into the context.
I can’t help but feel a connection of energy and my soul to this piece, which I feel is the absolute goal of Chopin and other Romantic composers. Perhaps not to connect other people with their music, but to connect other people with themselves, the composers. Chopping contribution to the evolution of music is made clear by the incredible use of “language” that do more than tell a story. The “language” speaks feelings into a listener more than anything from the previous era could do.