Frederick Chopin was one of the main composers of the Early Romantic Era. Many of his works including Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 fall into the category of the Early Romantic musical era because they were purely written to express emotion. Nocturnes are short lyrical pieces and Chopin was famous for his Nocturnes. Like most pieces of the Early Romantic Era, Chopin wrote his music to be understood “purely on musical terms.” Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 is a perfect example of an Early Romantic era piece because of its musical elements.
Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 is in rounded binary form with a coda (A A B A B A). Like other Early Romantic Era pieces, when the A and B sections return, they become increasingly ornamented. This was a popular stylistic trait. When the piece begins, the tempo is legato but as the piece progresses it gets more complex. The melody is played 3 times each time more elaborate than the last.
Comparing Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 to another piece of the time, Schumann’s Carnaval, Op. 9, there are many similarities as well as differences. First of all, the pieces are in two entirely different styles. Chopin’s is a nocturne, which as previously said is a lyrical piece. Schumann’s Carnaval is more grand and very majestic – opposite of Chopin. Both are written with musical emotion, which was typical of the Early Romantic Era.
I have always loved Chopin’s compositions and was happy to choose a piece by Chopin to analyze. I am a fan of the entire Romantic era because I enjoy hearing all the emotion put into each piece. Chopin is one of my favorite Romantic composers especially his nocturnes because of the emotion and lyrical feeling to his compositions.
Burkholder, J. Peter, Donald Jay Grout, and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music. Eighth Edition. (W.W. Norton and Company, New York, New York). 2010.
Crocker, Richard. A History of Musical Style. McGraw-Hill Book Company. 1966.
“Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 (Arthur Rubinstein).” Youtube Video. Posted by “ardiem.” Uploaded Aug. 27, 2007. Accessed April 14, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGRO05WcNDk
“Schumann – Carnaval, op. 9 – Boris Giltburg.” Youtube Video. Posted by “Arthur Rubinstein.” Uploaded June 2, 2011. Accessed April 14, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNo2aiKV-a0&feature=kp