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Frédéric Chopin

The Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2, is very possibly the most famous work ever penned by the composer. In spite of the many tasteless renditions to which it has been subjected over the years (a great many of them on disc, and by performers of some stature), it remains a work of great charm. Of the three pieces in Opus 9, this is the one most heavily indebted to John Field, both in terms of its direct phrase structure and its generally rather simple atmosphere. Cast in the kind of two-part song formula beloved of nineteenth century salon musicians, Op. 9, No. 2, is one of the briefest of the nocturnes. There is little space indeed for sloppy sentimentality, even within the striking little cadenza that concludes the work.

-- Blair Johnston, All Music Guide