The title Nocturnal Blue comes from this music's two primary influences. The word blue relates to certain melodic outlines in the clarinet part, it's slow expressiveness and the generally melancholy character of the composition. I added the word nocturnal not only because the music has a lonely reflective quality, but also because the piano part includes gently flowing patterns and coloristic harmonies that, in my mind, don't seem too far removed from the realm of a piano nocturne. Finally, and similar to both blues and nocturnes, this piece has a freely lyrical flow that requires the use of much rubato. Although the expression may seem rather simple, properly realizing the natural ebb and flow of this music's phrasing requires subtle and sophisticated cooperation between the players.