nocturne in c sharp minor (1830)

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.  


Jan Lisiecki - Nocturne in C sharp Minor (1830) - Proms 2013

Frédéric Chopin - (1810-1849) Poland

He was an introverted person (just like me), and a great composer for the piano. Well, he must be “God” on the piano because he basically composed only piano pieces (even though they perfectly could be for singers as well). 

This composer has meant so much to me in these past few weeks because I’ve felt so lost lately in my music composition major, and I’ve returned to the piano with THIS Chopin piece, and I’ve never felt more alive. It is my favourite piece, and in six months I’ll be playing it for the jury of my piano audition.

I’d like to double in piano major because I’m almost done with composition, but I’m not really feeling it. I don’t have anything to say that the musical language that we’re requested to write on can express. Maybe that’s my problem. I don’t see myself doing what I’m doing right now, but I also can’t see myself in an office, or doing something different than music. 

I’m sincerely hoping that this reconnection that I’m tying to work on with the piano brings me the joy and the courage I need to continue my path as a composer and as a musician. And even maybe as a concert pianist.