Nocturne in B (Dvořák)

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The Nocturne in B, Op. 40 (B. 47), is a single-movement composition for string orchestra by Antonín Dvořák, published in 1883.


The work originated as the slow movement, Andante religioso, of Dvořák's early string quartet, No. 4 in E minor, of 1870, which was unpublished in his lifetime. The movement was adapted and included in his String Quintet No. 2 in G, of 1875: it was one of two slow movements, and he later withdrew this movement from the quintet.[1][2][3]

He developed it into this nocturne; the work was published in 1883 by Simrock. As well as the version for string orchestra (B. 47), he made versions for violin and piano (B. 48a) and piano four hands (B. 48b).[1][2][3]


The work is in the key of B major, and its duration is about 9 minutes. There is a calm atmosphere throughout. After a simple introduction in octaves, there is a long section, featuring a winding melody over a pedal note of F which gives a sense of anticipation; eventually this gives way to a more animated section. Finally there is a return, without the sense of anticipation, to the original texture.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c Nocturne in B Op. 40 The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Listening Library, accessed 25 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b Nocturne for String Orchestra, Op.40 (Dvořák, Antonín) IMSLP, accessed 25 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Nocturne in B major, accessed 26 January 2015.