Nocturne No.7

Gabriel Fauré

Nocturne No.7 in C# minor

Op. 74

About this work

One can clearly see a stylistic evolution in Fauré's nocturnes, from the post-Romantic lushness of his earliest essays in the genre to the quite harmonically adventurous and thematically complex later efforts. While this Nocturne No. 7 stands exactly in the middle of the series, its advanced expressive language places it on the modern side of the composer's broad scale. Marked Molto lente, this nocturne starts off in an air of ambiguity, its C sharp minor key not immediately emerging. The music has an indecisive manner, too, seeming almost to hobble along with a main theme a sort of wandering, chameleonic creation of great complexity. A second theme follows, livelier and agitated, but soon yields back to the main theme, which is then developed at some length. The middle section features a playful, dreamy melody whose initial appearance also masks its key, in this case F sharp major. The main theme returns, demurely at first, but then rising to greater intensity before settling into a serene manner for the quiet close. This lovely and deeply profound work has a duration of about ten minutes.