Nocturne 1, Op.2

This is to date one of the two orchestral nocturnes I have written to date, this one written in December 2006. It was influenced by the night scene in my secondary school.

The following is an introduction I wrote about this piece:
“I love tranquillity: the tranquillity of the night, the tranquillity of nature, the tranquillity of the countryside. Thus over the years I wrote nocturnes – not necessarily “music of the night” as the term suggests, but in fact an expression of this tranquillity. I chose to write nocturnes for the symphony orchestra since the variety of timbre suits the expression better than piano alone does. To date I have written two nocturnes, one in December 2006 and one from March to April 2008, and I am currently writing one more.

The first nocturne, in C minor, is inspired by the night scene of my secondary school, during a time when I was accustomed to stay at school till late, after the sun has set. The piece is based on a single repeating theme, first played by the xylophone and accompanied by pizzicato strings. More and more instruments join in as the theme increases in grandeur. After the music reaches a climax, it gradually fades out until there is only the xylophone alone, echoing a motif from the theme before it, too, fades out.

The second nocturne, in E minor, is inspired by the beauty of the hills on Hong Kong Island, where I live. This was at a time soon after I started running, and partly due to the fact that the inter-school cross country running competitions were held at the reservoir at Aberdeen, I was obsessed with walking / running between my school at Wan Chai and Aberdeen, using the paved road through Wan Chai Gap, ascending steep inclines and through dense woodlands as I go. The tranquillity and beauty of the hills simply cannot be expressed in words. The nocturne is in tertiary form. After a short introduction the theme is played by the oboe. The arpeggios of the harp are important in shaping the tranquillity of the music. The music elaborates itself until a transition leads to the second section in B minor. The theme in the second section is repeated in a fast flowing manner. The music transits back to the first section, and fades out.”


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