Frédéric Chopin

Nocturne for piano No. 15 in F minor, Op. 55/1, CT. 122

    Description by Blair Johnston

    Frédéric Chopin's penultimate group of Nocturnes (only the Opus 67 pair were composed at a later date: all the posthumously published Nocturnes were actually the work of the composer's younger days), the Two Nocturnes, Op.55, have had a turbulent and often unhappy history. While most musicians of the late-Twentieth Century regarded them as two of the finest entries in the genre, during much of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century the pair was ignored by the majority of concertizing pianists. (Such sweeping changes of general opinion are often very informative: during the same Victorian period that the Opus 55 Nocturnes were in disservice the Opus 37 Nocturnes were widely considered the most masterful of the entire collection, while a hundred years later the precisely opposite view reigns). Certainly it is easy to understand the professional neglect heaped on the Nocturne in F minor, Op.55, No.1, which, due to its relative technical ease, has become the property of amateurs and students around the globe. The E-flat Nocturne, Op.55, No.2, however, is a work of extraordinary power and a testament to both the masterly command of Chopin's later years and the distance he has traveled since the Fieldian Nocturnes of his Opus 9. The primary melody of the Nocturne in F minor, Op.55, No.1, has to it a bittersweet tang. The piece as a whole is cast in the characteristic ABA (ternary) form, with a dramatic and anxious middle section. An exciting stretto passage leads directly into the reprise of the opening theme, which has itself assimilated something of the second subject's agitation. A welcome harmonic change (from the minor to the major mode) as the coda progresses, and a trio of arpeggiated chords make a firm conclusion. This Nocturne, though clearly less inspired than some of its brothers and sisters, makes an effective "entry-level" piece for those players and listeners seeking a clear glimpse of the composer's basic style.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Claudio CB 60206
    2016 Claudio / Claudio Bohema CB 60202
    2015 Sony Classical 88843054582
    2014 Brilliant Classics 94930BR
    2014 United Classics T 2CD2013024
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 The Gift of Music CCLCDG 1279
    2014 United Audio / United Audio Entertainment TC 53382
    2013 Decca
    2013 Piano Classics PCL 0049
    2013 Warner Classics 2564651479
    2013 Sony Classical 88883768602
    2013 MDG MDGSC 9041803
    2013 Orfeo C 882132B
    2013 Dux Records DUX 0902
    2013 Guild Historical GHCD 23989
    2012 Warner Classics
    2012 Alto MCSCD 2012
    2012 Supraphon SU 40972
    2012 Warner Classics 654618
    2012 IDIS 6646
    2012 Chandos CHAN 10714
    2012 Decca 4784006
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon
    2011 Newton Classics 8802076
    2011 Decca
    2011 Estonian Record Productions ERP 4211
    2011 Gall (formerly Gallo) / Gallo CD 1325
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099994984927
    2011 EMI Classics
    2011 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD000020
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099945533
    2010 Criss Cross CRISS 1329CD
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Fryderyk Chopin Institute 12
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099996711
    2010 Alto 1119
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94048
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099960839
    2010 Fryderyk Chopin Institute 20
    2010 Decca
    2010 Decca
    2010 Classics & Jazz / Deutsche Grammophon
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Classics and Jazz 001382602
    2009 X5 Music Group 15582
    2009 Sony Music Distribution 88697575002
    2008 Quartz 2022
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93217
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4717432
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4777583
    2007 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2007 DG
    2007 Centaur Records 2879
    2007 Music & Arts 1202
    2007 Decca
    2007 Amado Classics 4000
    2007 Simply / Union Square Music 47
    2007 Classical Records 83
    2007 Decca
    2007 London/Decca / Decca 4758079
    2007 Decca
    2006 BBC Legends 41852
    2006 Camerata Records 15040
    2006 Idis 6495
    2006 Jeff Vidov 2006-01
    2006 Decca 4768537
    2005 Sony Music Distribution 89698
    2005 Nonesuch
    2005 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243586507
    2005 Andante AN1190
    2005 Athene 23201
    2005 Brilliant 92202
    2004 United Audio Entertai 65072
    2004 GSP Recordings 1024
    2004 Sony Classical 92743
    2004 EMI Music Distribution 585246
    2004 North/South 1030
    2004 Arbiter ARBITER141
    2003 Arabesque 6757
    2003 Direct Source 1663
    2003 Philips 475029
    2003 Decca 000477
    2003 Preiser Records 95002
    2002 Belart/Karussell 450000
    2002 SPJ Music 90509
    2002 London / MCA 43811
    2001 BBC Legends / BBC Music 40572
    2001 Virgin 61836
    2001 Musicians Showcase 1053
    2000 ClassicWorks 6616
    2000 Naxos 503066
    2000 Direct Source 8362
    2000 Amadis 7130
    2000 Onyx Classix 1915
    2000 Direct Source 9026
    2000 Russian Compact Disc (RCD) 16248
    1999 Naxos 554599
    1999 Naxos 554045
    1999 Opal 9861
    1999 Philips 456 805-2PM2
    1999 Philips 462232
    1999 Naxos 505029
    1999 Philips 456742
    1998 Decca 4603222
    1998 Naxos 8 551182
    1998 Direct Source / Direct Source Special 75802
    1998 Ivory Classics 70701
    1998 Music & Arts CD1025
    1997 Eclipse Records 64354
    1997 Point 267118
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453906
    1996 RCA 68164
    1996 London 444830
    1996 Nimbus 8803
    1996 Naxos 8552214
    1995 SCD / Special Music 4964
    1995 Deutsche Grammophon 437 464-2GX2
    1995 APR (Appian) 7010
    1995 Chacra 44
    1995 D'Blue Records 0123
    1994 Naxos 550291
    1994 ASV 6106
    1994 Naxos 550216
    1994 Sony Classical 53465
    1993 Royal Classics 6408
    1993 London 440 081-2LRX
    1993 Sony Classical Essential Classics 53456
    1992 Decca / London 436389
    1992 Decca
    1991 Deutsche Grammophon 431586
    1991 RCA Gold Seal 60376
    1990 CBS Records 42306
    1990 Deutsche Grammophon 429154
    1988 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    1985 Deutsche Grammophon 415 117-2GH
    London 417690
    IMP Classics 872
    Fonoteca 960405
    Classical Records 007
    Deutsche Grammophon 431579
    Lydian 18130
    Onyx Classix 66142
    Amado Classics 04009
    Carlton Classics 02357
    Edelweiss Records 1009
    Teldec
    Brilliant 92202/3
    David Wasser Records
    Special Music Company 4970
    London 410180
    The Gift of Music 1037
    In Classical Mood 12023
    Klavier Records 11082
    London 411934
    Decca 466507
    Stradivari 6045
    London 443810
    London 433654
    London 433653
    Beats Work Records
    IMP Classics 18137
    Enterprise 327
    Decca 475 8091DB5
    CBS Masterworks 44681