Today’s post looks at two pieces of Romantic piano music as windows into the world in which they were created. Both are night-pieces by two of the greatest composers of the Romantic period – Nocturne in E flat Op 9 No 2 by Frederic Chopin and Liebestraum No 3 in A flat by his contemporary, Franz Liszt. Both pieces showcase the composers’ mastery of the piano in creating rich sounds that engage listeners’ deepest emotions, what John Keats called, “the holiness of the heart’s affections.”
In the Nocturne, we are asked to imagine that night falls and we lose our sense of time and space, being carried along on a stream of melody that draws us to itself. In Liszt’s Liebestraum the musical sounds expand to fill and transform our sense of what is possible, making it a beautiful complement to Chopin’s introspective piece.
F. Chopin, Nocturne in E Flat Op. 9 No. 2
Franz Liszt, Liebestraum No 3 in A flat