Nocturne (1978) by Herb Bielawa
for piano four hands

Nocturne for piano four-hands is an austere, mystical, even trance-like piece. Its sense of emotional detachment is caused to some degree by the lack of synchrony of its members. Even though both parts are explicitly notated, they are independent of each other, performing unmetered randomly spaced gestures throughout (there are NEVER any performances that are identical in ensemble). As a nocturne or as "night music" this work comes the closest to being programmatic for me. It tells no story, but the image is of a view of the ocean on the French Riviera at 2AM from a balcony when and where nothing stirred but nature itself. The only light was from dim outside lamps. There was a little fog; it was chilly. It was a serene and mysterious experience that I will never forget.

— H. B.    

[from program for June 7, 1995 concert]