Today is the 201st birthday of Polish/French pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin. In honor of this occasion, I present to you one of his greatest pieces - the first Nocturne.
A Nocturne is a "night-piece," a piece evocative of the musings and mystery the night so often presents to it's wanderers. The form is generally viewed as being originated by the Irish composer John Field, but Frédéric Chopin and his 21 Nocturnes are more commonly recognized for their depth and grandeur. They all evoke different emotions and produce varied effects, but there is a definite divide in the pieces between the more fully realized and the less substantial.
This is my favorite Nocturne of them all, and it is perhaps my very favorite Chopin piece as well. There is a darkness here I cannot fathom, with a glitteringly menacing middle section that never fails to take my breath away. I did learn it on the piano, but cannot play it near as well as this man, Garrick Ohlsson. I'll admit I hadn't heard of him before hearing this recording, but it seems to be the interpretation nearest to my heart, and I cannot stop listening to it. 1:29 is my favorite part :')