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Nocturne [Lento] in C Sharp Minor
Nocturne: Piano Music of Chopin (CD Track 2)
Harrison Gradwell Slater, piano



     What made you this way, Artemisia? Were you born naturally cruel, or did something unspeakable change the course of your life? Why are you so afraid of experiencing love and of being loved? Is it possible that you're simply incapable of feeling?
     When I first met you, your eyes radiated warmth, but there was a dark undercurrent that even you could not hide. Your kindness and generosity captivated me, but I saw the reservoir of coldness behind your facade of complete confidence. In all our time together, I never once saw you shed a tear, never saw the least glimmer of vulnerability, of helpless humanity.
     Now when I look into your eyes, your expression chills me with its unfathomable detachment. Is this my reward for succumbing completely to your beauty and vitality? Didn't I offer to leave everything in my life for you?  Do I really deserve this, Artemisia?

*        *        *

     As she carefully packed her lenses and filters, Artemisia Talbot thought, This was really a good time to get an assignment in Paris. Things were suddenly getting complicated after her ex-fiancé, Clifton, a literature professor at Columbia, had picked a jealous fight with a male friend of hers. Now she was afraid Clifton might do something irrational, even violent.

     This wasn't the first time a man she was dating had fallen hard for Artemisia, whose mother had named her after the seventeenth-century artist whose canvasses now influenced her evocative photographs. But this was the first time a former boyfriend had started stalking her, calling her at work, showing up at her favorite coffee shop, even sending her pages of florid prose to try to win her back.


      Now a note had appeared under the door of her new apartment in the old meatpacking district of New York, where she had relocated to avoid Clifton. As she zipped her last piece of luggage, Artemisia said aloud: "No, I'm not simply incapable of feeling, Clifton. You weren't the right man for me. After calling a taxi, she began locking the row of deadbolts to her apartment. Then she stopped and sighed.

     And yes, Clifton, you really do deserve this.



Click here for pdf download of Harrison Gradwell Slater's novel, Nocturne


Click here for Harrison Gradwell Slater's newest novel, The Embrace: Part One




NOCTURNE: A Novel with a Soundtrack

For the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Chopin

 Amid the lush tonal landscapes of Chopin, a killer stalks unseen in Harrison Slater’s page-turning new novel, Nocturne
(Peabody Mason, $24.95, January 2010) 

     Just when her life in New York seems to be unraveling, Artemisia Talbot receives a commission to photograph Chopin's Paris.  And in the City of Light, she discovers unconditional love for the first time with a young American musicologist, Matthew Pierce.
     Artemisia accompanies Matthew to Warsaw, where he purchases a diary that describes Chopin's ill-fated love affair with "little Marynia," a talented pianist and watercolorist.  But the diary also holds some disturbing parallels to contemporary events, and the brilliance of Artemisia's surroundings - in Paris, Warsaw and Nohant - obscures the grim reality that she is being followed by an obsessive killer bent on revenge.

     Internationally known author, scholar and pianist Harrison Slater continues on the path of his acclaimed best-selling novel, Night Music, which was optioned as a film in Europe.  Just as Night Music opened the world of Mozart to mystery readers, Nocturne brings the poetic panoramas of Chopin to those who love novels of suspense and obsession.
     Voted "Rising Star of 2003" by sales representatives of nine publishing houses, Night Music was on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list of mystery paperback for over fourteen weeks.  For Nocturne, a CD of Chopin's piano music has been integrated into the text ... the first example of a novel with a soundtrack, performed by the author.
     Nocturne combines culture and passion in a gripping narrative of love, fatal attraction and, ultimately, redemption.



About the author:  A Ph.D. in musicology, Harrison Gradwell Slater is the photographer of "Mozart's Prague" and "Flowers of Fatima," and author of four books including Night Music, In Mozart's Footsteps and The Embrace.  In addition to writing and recording, Slater coaches many world-class pianists, thanks to his musical association with Paul Doguereau, whose experience links him to the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.  Slater, like his adoptive father before him, is President and Artistic Director of an international Chopin competition, the Peabody Mason Piano Competition (www.peabodymasonpianocompetition.com). 

     Nocturne is Slater's second novel and is available on Kindle and amazon.com.


The Nocturne CD Collection: Music of Chopin


Harrison Gradwell Slater
Richard Bosworth
Janice Weber
Tsotne Tsotskhalashvili
Laura Villafranca
Georgian State Philharmonic