Nocturne Music Recordings

The term 'nocturne' as a designation for a music piece was first used in the 1700s, when it referred to a multi-movement piece for an instrumental ensemble, meant to be played at night (usually at events or parties) and then cast aside. Before that the term referred to the nocturnal religious services. The solo-instrument romantic nocturne as we know it was conceived during the 19th century. The first pieces titled as 'nocturne' were written by John Field, who defined the style of writing singable melodies over simple arpeggio accompaniments. The most famous exponent of the form, however, was Frédéric Chopin, who wrote 21 of them, redefining the nocturne as conceived by Field by taking it to a new level of harmonic complexity and emotional depth.

Title Composer Instrument Period Ratings
Les cloches du monastère, Op. 54a Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély Piano Romantic
Nocturne Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka Piano Romantic
Nocturne and Tarantella, Op. 28 Karol Szymanowski Solo Instrument and Piano Romantic
Nocturne et allegro scherzando Philippe Gaubert Flute Romantic
Nocturne for Flute, Viola and Guitar, Op. 21 (Schubert arr.) Wenzel Thomas Matiegka Chamber group Romantic
Nocturne in Bb, H. 37 John Field Piano Romantic
Nocturne in C minor, B. 108 Frédéric Chopin Piano Romantic
Nocturne in C sharp minor 'Lento con gran espressione', B. 49 (Op. posth.) Frédéric Chopin Piano Romantic
Nocturne in E minor, Op. posth. 72 Frédéric Chopin Piano Romantic
Nocturne in Em, H. 46 John Field Piano Romantic
Nocturne in G minor Fanny Hensel Piano Romantic
Nocturne no. 4 in Eb, Op. 36 Gabriel Fauré Piano Late 19th century
Nocturne No.3 in G minor Louis-Emmanuel Jadin Bassoon Classical
Nocturne 'The Cricket', Op. 60 bis Charles-Valentin Alkan Piano Romantic
Nocturnes, Op. 9 Frédéric Chopin Piano Romantic
Nocturnes, Op. 15 Frédéric Chopin Piano Romantic
Nocturnes, Op. 27 Frédéric Chopin Piano Romantic
Nocturnes, Op. 32 Frédéric Chopin Piano Romantic
Nocturnes, Op. 37 Frédéric Chopin Piano Romantic
Nocturnes, Op. 48 Frédéric Chopin Piano Romantic