Frédéric Chopin

Nocturne for piano No. 10 in A flat major, Op. 32/2, CT. 117

    Description by Blair Johnston

    The pair of Nocturnes contained in Frédéric Chopin's fourth published entry in the genre, Opus 32 (published in 1837 and dedicated to Mme. la Baronne de Billing), are something of a let down after the brilliance and grace of the Opus 27 pair. Though each of the Opus 32 pieces is characteristic of the composer's approach to Nocturne form (or, perhaps, approaches, as the two are really quite different from one another, and yet can each still be related to several other Nocturnes), the steady stream of craftsmanship that marked the previous pair of Nocturnes (and also the following, Opus 37, pair) seems not so reliable here: in each of the Opus 32 nocturnes moments of originality and power stick out in a way that they might not had the entirety of the pieces been sewn of finer silk. The Nocturne in A-flat major, Op.32, No.2 would, some seventy years after its original composition, become one of the most important parts of the famous ballet Les Sylphides (one of the most popular ballets in the repertoire, Les Sylphides consists solely of orchestrations of Chopin's music, despite the fact that the composer would certainly have disapproved of both the orchestration of such quintessentially pianistic music and the adaptation of the same to serve in such a role). Indeed, the graceful triple meter flow of the work makes it easy to see why the choreographers selected this mild work as a kind of centerpiece. The Nocturne opens with a very brief (two bar), almost rhythmless introduction (a chorale-like plagal cadence figure that also serves as the works final gesture), after which the body of the Nocturne begins. Like the previous Nocturne, simplicity of gesture is of the utmost importance throughout the opening section of the A-flat Nocturne. A stormier, more chromatic middle section, however, marks this second Nocturne as fundamentally different than the first. The ternary (ABA) form of the work demands a repetition of the earlier section; it seems, however, to have been infected by the agitated atmosphere of the Nocturne's center, and it takes the reprise some time to recapture the gentleness that is its rightful tone. The opening two bars, now pianissimo, serve as a coda.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2019 Deutsche Grammophon
    2018 Linn / Linn Records CKD 565
    2018 Zefir Records ZEF 9656
    2018 APR (Appian) APR 7310
    2017 Berlin Classics 0300905 BC
    2017 Erato 0190295896478
    2017 Erato 559343
    2016 Classic FM / Decca CFMD 45
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795404
    2016 Guild Historical GHCD 2421
    2015 K-Tel 136155
    2015 RCA Red Seal / Sony Classical 88875127202
    2014 Brilliant Classics 94930BR
    2014 AAO Music / Imperial Classics UMMC81282
    2014 United Classics T 2CD2013024
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 Nimbus Alliance NI 6275
    2013 EMI / EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099943332
    2013 Piano Classics PCL 0049
    2013 Entertainment Group 6050
    2012 Alto MCSCD 2012
    2012 Supraphon SU 40972
    2012 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD 032
    2012 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2012 The Entertainment Group 1164
    2012 Entertainment Group 1504
    2012 Brilliant Classics 94397
    2012 Entertainment Group 12003
    2012 EMI Classics 02898
    2012 Concerto / Zebralution
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon
    2011 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD 613
    2011 Newton Classics 8802076
    2011 Decca
    2011 Gall (formerly Gallo) / Gallo CD 1325
    2011 Berlin Classics / Edel Classics 0300255BC
    2011 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD000020
    2010 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099945851
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099945533
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 0013976
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099996711
    2010 Fryderyk Chopin Institute 10
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94048
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099960839
    2010 Warner Classics
    2010 Fryderyk Chopin Institute 20
    2010 Decca
    2010 Naxos 857809092
    2010 Classics & Jazz / Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 RCA Red Seal / Sony Music Entertainment 88697625302
    2009 CAvi-music 8553137
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Classics and Jazz 001382602
    2008 Berlin Classics 0010182BC
    2008 Quartz 2022
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4777583
    2008 Berlin Classics 0184572BC
    2008 LIR Classics 70016
    2007 Centaur Records 2879
    2007 Brilliant Classics 8528
    2007 Berlin Classics 0012782BC
    2007 Decca
    2007 Kultur 4189
    2006 Camerata Records 15040
    2006 Eroica Distribution 3273
    2005 Turn Up the Music 2352
    2005 Nonesuch
    2005 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243586507
    2005 Athene 23201
    2005 Brilliant 92202
    2005 Fleur de Son 57971
    2004 St. Clair 31342
    2003 RCA Victor Red Seal / BMG / RCA 50750
    2003 Essential Classics / St. Clair 31002
    2003 Philips 475029
    2003 Turn Up the Music 1423
    2002 Alba ABCD 160
    2002 Sony Classical 89846
    2002 SPJ Music 90509
    2001 Disques Pierre Verany 700017
    2000 Channel Crossings 15998
    2000 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243567526
    1999 Hungaroton 31814
    1999 EMI Classics
    1999 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243567007
    1998 Koch 317972
    1998 Ivory Classics 70701
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon 457992
    1995 Vox 3036
    1995 Deutsche Grammophon 437 464-2GX2
    1995 RCA Victor Red Seal 25807
    1994 RCA 902660445
    1993 EMI Music Distribution 67477
    1993 Classics for Pleasure / EMI Music Distribution 4515
    1993 Sugo 9310
    1990 Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 45931
    1988 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    Classical Records 007
    Lydian 18130
    Teldec
    Carlton Classics 02357
    Musique d'Or 1032
    Brilliant 92202/2
    RCA 60445
    Special Music Company 4970
    Deutsche Grammophon 431996
    Pearl 9911
    Vox Allegretto 8086
    Stradivari 6045
    Arte Nova 49692
    Sony BMG 88697193292
    Canyon Classics 3641
    Brilliant Classics 8528/3