With the five Nocturnes composed in 1919, Satie concluded the series of cyclically organized Piano pieces which, in a way, constitute the backbone of his oeuvre. As his models, he chose the eponymous pieces by John Field and Frédéric Chopin, borrowing not only the romantic, elegiac inflections, but also the tripartite form and rocking movement. Totally original, in turn, is the harmony which he devised according to his own system.
Commenting on his Nocturnes, Satie once said: “This is a different expression of myself”. Indeed, the pieces, which are not difficult to play, seem unusually serious and far removed from the nonsense, parody and cabaret atmosphere that colour such a large part of his oeuvre.