Three Little Nocturnes was composed by Hans Abrahamsen in 2005. Commissioned by the Cikada Ensemble, with support from NOMUS, and written for Frode Haltli and the Cikada String Quartet.
In the first nocturne a slow, falling music emerges on an irregular pulse, filled with high harmonics in the strings. The second nocturne is fast and unrestful music, with a lot of passion, which in a moment runs into a glimpse of a tango. In this movement the accordion is employed in its traditional fashion, using the chord bass, with its “oom-pah-pah” standard chords. The third nocturne is again slow, indeed very slow, and it has German tempo and expression markings. The piece ends with a lullaby in the accordion, played with an unusual technique, imitating the string portato. This is accompanied by high harmonics in the strings, while the first violin slowly and softly plays a melody from the second nocturne.