(redirected from Nocturnes)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


(nŏk`tûrn) [Fr.,=night piece], in music, romantic instrumental piece, free in form and usually reflective or languid in character. John Field wrote the first nocturnes, influencing Chopin in the writing of his 19 nocturnes for piano. Others who have written nocturnes include Gabriel Fauré and Francis Poulenc for piano, Debussy for orchestra, and by extension Béla Bartók in his night music pieces.



the name given to various types of musical works. In the 18th and early 19th centuries the nocturne was a divertissement, a composition in several movements similar to the cassation and instrumental serenade. It was written mainly for wind or for wind and string instruments and was usually performed outdoors in the evening or at night, for example, the nocturnes of Mozart and Haydn. J. Field established the nocturne as a short melodious and lyrical piano piece of a dreamy or melancholy nature. Chopin’s 21 piano nocturnes, noted for their depth and richness, represent the fullest development of the genre. R. Schumann, J. Hummel, C. Debussy, M. Reger, and P. Hindemith also wrote nocturnes. In Russian music, outstanding examples include M. I. Glinka’s nocturnes for harp, piano, and voice and piano; A. P. Borodin’s nocturne in the String Quartet No. 2; and A. N. Scriabin’s nocturnes.


Kuznetsov, K. A. “Istoricheskie formy noktiurna.” Iskusstvo, 1925, no. 2.


1. a short, lyrical piece of music, esp one for the piano
2. a painting or tone poem of a night scene
References in periodicals archive ?
The expansion of our UK operation allows us to fully support the rapidly growing demand with an experienced team of people and quality gear that our customers expect of PRG Nocturne US and UK.
The somewhat dark and eerie mood, inspired by the "Dream Fugues" section in Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1822) is, however, not that of a romantic nocturne.
The composer explained the compositional process of the Nocturnes, the performance of which proved to be soporific.
The edition is titled "Popular Nocturnes," and the editor, Jan Elder, has selected the nocturnes that are likely taught most frequently, as these are among the least difficult technically of all Chopin's nocturnes.
Demidenko gave us two encores, including one of my favourite Chopin nocturnes - a bonus.
Both main works, Nocturnes and La mer, are spectacularly well played, as is the PrAlude and a comparative rarity, Berceuse hArooque, which Debussy wrote in 1914 to mark the fall of Belgium.
My only concern with Paavo Jarvi's interpretations of the Prelude a l'Apres-midi, Nocturnes, La Mer, and Berceuse heroique is that they seem more than a mite complacent.
For a window on Gabriel Faure's growth and development as a composer of piano music, one could hardly do better than listen sequentially to all of his nocturnes.
WHETHER YOU'RE SITTING IN the hubbub of a Starbucks cafe, carving out some precious reading time from your busy lunch hour or bustling commute, or simply putting your feet up after another grinding daily schedule, you'll feel an oasis of calm settle over you as you read Nocturnes, a recent new book of poems by Michael Bullock.
This work was well-matched with Sala's Nocturnes, 1999, an eleven-minute video projection shot in northern France that interspliced the ramblings of an eccentric young tropical-fish enthusiast with the confessions of a young UN soldier formerly on active service in the Balkans.
Among 20th-century novels in English, Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story and The Beautiful Room Is Empty are both listed, shouldering aside his Forgetting Elena and Nocturnes for the King of Naples, which are much better.
For a long time, I wanted to have written Edmund White's Nocturnes for the King of Naples.