The Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp minor, Op. posth., Lento con gran espressione, P 1, No. 16, KKIVa/16, is a solo piano piece composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1830 and published in 1870.
Opening bars of Nocturne No.20
Chopin dedicated this work to his older sister, Ludwika Chopin, with the statement: “To my sister Ludwika as an exercise before beginning the study of my second Concerto”. First published 26 years after the composer’s death, the piece is usually referred to as Lento con gran espressione, from its tempo marking. It is sometimes also called Reminiscence.The piece was famously played by Holocaust survivor Natalia Karp for the Nazi concentration camp commandant Amon Goeth, with Goeth being so impressed with the rendition, that he spared Karp’s life.
Performer:Wladyslaw Szpilman.Wladyslaw Szpilman (Wladek) played this music in the last live broadcast for the Polish Radio on 23.9.1939 . An hour later German bombs destroyed its power supply and the Warsaw Radio closed for long 6 years.
Those old hands have been through so much.Beautiful interptetation.
“And now I was lonelier, I supposed, than anyone else in the world. Even Defoe’s creation, Robinson Crusoe, the prototype of the ideal solitary, could hope to meet another human being. Crusoe cheered himself by thinking that such a thing could happen any day, and it kept him going. But if any of the people now around me came near I would need to run for it and hide in mortal terror. I had to be alone, entirely alone, if I wanted to live.”