Three Nocturnes for Orchestra (No. 2 "May Night"), B31

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Of the Three Nocturnes for Orchestra from 1872, only one has survived in its entirety, the Nocturne in B major, which arose as the reworking of the slow movement of String Quartet No. 4 in E minor. Of the second Nocturne, subtitled May Night, only the string parts have survived. May Night was first performed in Prague at Žofín Palace, performed by the “Filharmonie” Orchestra under the direction of conductor Ludvík Slansky on 30 March 1873, to resounding success. According to one critic, “the first impression upon hearing the Nocturne was one of surprise – such that only a work of unparalleled class and merit could engender. We sense that the breath of a genius fans our temples, an inner exhilaration we only experience the moment a new phenomenon of beauty encounters us. An individual of true worth has appeared on the horizon and our domestic musical environment may congratulate itself upon his discovery.” The third orchestral nocturne is now missing.