Sheet Music: Notturno

from String Quartet No. 2 in D major
Alternate titlesNocturne
And This is My Beloved
ComposerAlexander Borodin (1833–1887)
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyA major
Time signature3/4
Tempo60 BPM
Performance time2:20
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (116 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (2 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (2 MB)
Date added2010-01-15
Last updated2010-01-15
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 1.5 (above average)
Nocturnes, Romantic


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Friday 15 January 2010

Tune of the Day: Notturno

from String Quartet No. 2 in D major by Alexander Borodin

Alexander Borodin wrote his String Quartet No. 2 very quickly during August 1881. The Russian composer dedicated it to his wife Ekaterina, and it was written as an evocation of when they met and fell in love 20 years earlier.

The main theme of the third movement of this quartet, the Nocturne, is often performed in string orchestra arrangements, and probably constitutes Borodin's most famous piece of music. In the original score, the theme is initially introduced by the cello (which represents the composer, an amateur player himself), and soon passes to the first violin (which portrays Ekaterina).

This long, tender melody also appears in the 1953 musical Kismet, with the title “And This is My Beloved”. The adaptation was done by Robert Wright and George Forrest, who really specialized in turning melodies from classical music into film scores and popular songs.