Frédéric Chopin

Nocturne for piano No. 20 in C sharp minor, KK IVa/16, CT. 127 (B. 49)

    Description by Robert Cummings

    This Nocturne was among the last works Chopin composed before departing Poland on November 2, 1830. Like many of his early compositions, it carries no opus number, and would not be published until well after his death -- in this case, not until 1870. Its late appearance in print accounts for its high numbering: chronologically, it was not his 20th Nocturne, but only his second, written probably within a year or two of his initial effort, the E minor (ca. 1829). Both these early works already contain the intimate passion and melancholy character of Chopin's later nocturnes, as well as their unique harmonic sense.

    The Nocturne in C sharp minor here opens with a brief introduction, a mixture of the stately and the desolate in its hesitant, ponderous character. The melancholy main theme is then presented, a lovely creation in its graceful trills and dark atmosphere. The mood brightens marginally in the secondary material, but still cannot break with the forlorn character established by the opening melody. The main theme returns in the latter half, now more resolute in its sadness, gradually becoming more despondent as the music gently fades away at the end. Lasting about four minutes, this lovely Nocturne is yet another gem among the many in Chopin's considerable keyboard output.

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2019
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2019
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4836467
    2018
    Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler
    PH 18017
    2018
    Aevea
    AE 17044
    2018
    CAvi-music
    AVI 8553387
    2018
    Warner Classics
    573407
    2018
    Melodiya
    MELCD 1002406
    2017
    Berlin Classics
    0300905 BC
    2017
    IBA [Idil Biret Archives]
    8501503
    2017
    Alpha
    359
    2017
    Warner Classics
    563595
    2017
    ABC Classics
    2017
    Three Oranges Recordings
    3OR 25
    2017
    Ontaris
    2017
    Navona Records
    NV 6123
    2017
    Romeo Records
    RR 731819
    2017
    Sony Classical
    88985466782
    2017
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4797371
    2017
    Gramola
    99102
    2016
    Various Artists
    Warner Classics
    556483
    2016
    Solo Musica
    SM 246
    2016
    Sony Classical / Sony Music Distribution
    88875032272
    2016
    Evidence
    EVCD 020
    2016
    Sony Classical / Sony Music Distribution
    88875183402
    2016
    Various Artists
    Decca
    4827387
    2015
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4795448
    2015
    Warner Classics
    2564619911
    2015
    Discovery Music & Vision
    DMV 111
    2015
    Duo Espressivo
    RN 471346
    2015
    Bayard Musique
    B 3084362
    2015
    Classic FM
    CFMD 37
    2015
    Claves
    509314
    2014
    Telarc
    2014
    United Classics
    T 2CD2013024
    2014
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2014
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    GPR 10014
    2014
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    2013
    EMI / EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099943332
    2013
    Decca
    2013
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    BKD 248
    2013
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    2013
    Decca
    CDNNNOW 9
    2013
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    SLV 1006
    2013
    Decca
    2013
    Decca
    B 001912002
    2012
    Various Artists
    Decca
    4783676
    2012
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    2012
    Alto
    MCSCD 2012
    2012
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    EA 3012
    2012
    Piano 21
    P 21043N
    2012
    Domo Records
    DMR 73179
    2012
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    3148
    2012
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    2012
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    Decca
    4784006
    2012
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    2012
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    2012
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    2012
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    041052
    2012
    K2 HD
    614
    2011
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    001642102
    2011
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    8802076
    2011
    Dal Segno
    DSPRCD060
    2011
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    5099909879225
    2011
    Zephyr
    13509
    2011
    TwoPianists
    TP 1039107
    2011
    Haenssler
    93710
    2010
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    3141
    2010
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    103188
    2010
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    779
    2010
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    Crystal Classics / Zebralution
    2010
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    50143031
    2010
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    1002032
    2010
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    5099968858
    2010
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    2010
    Decca
    14053
    2010
    Decca
    2010
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    73098
    2010
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    2010
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    857809092
    2010
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    2010
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    2010
    Various Artists
    Erato / Virgin Classics
    5099962843
    2009
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    2009
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    001382602
    2009
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    147
    2009
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    2009
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    00794017309927
    2009
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    Deutsche Grammophon
    4803174
    2009
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    2009
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    73094
    2009
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    5020041
    2009
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    8729
    2008
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    EMI Classics
    3385212
    2008
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    4777583
    2008
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    636380
    2008
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    304941
    2008
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    44351
    2008
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    80695
    2008
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    2008
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    134
    2008
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    2007
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    557
    2007
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    2007
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    93529
    2007
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    2879
    2007
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    1261
    2007
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    0946385784
    2007
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    283
    2007
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    Brilliant
    93180
    2007
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    Decca
    2007
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    AN28725
    2006
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    Living Era
    AJC8563
    2006
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    1114
    2006
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    76040
    2006
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    4767487
    2006
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    15040
    2006
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    460708
    2006
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    41429
    2006
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    9208
    2006
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    1003
    2006
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    2005EB04
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    545
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    2564636762
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    31474
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    1326
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    0946338522
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    45030
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    2901430/31
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    7243586507
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    AN1190
    2005
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    23201
    2005
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    92202
    2005
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    248
    2005
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    9914
    2005
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    264
    2005
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    109
    2005
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    AN28724
    2005
    Palexa
    519
    2005
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    000428402
    2005
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    VTDCD724
    2005
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    45011
    2004
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    3064
    2004
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    1024
    2004
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    CDA67371/2
    2004
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    SACDA67371/2
    2004
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    8555799
    2004
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    7243585345
    2004
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    000344902
    2003
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    ARBITER137
    2003
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    5013
    2003
    Various Artists
    Naxos
    556784
    2003
    Forlane
    126817
    2003
    EMI Classics / Angel Records
    62667
    2003
    Philips
    475029
    2003
    Laserlight
    1480
    2003
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    545572
    2003
    Artek
    11
    2003
    Virgin / Virgin Classics
    62135
    2003
    Sony Classical
    SK 87894
    2003
    Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Distribution
    472883
    2003
    Laserlight
    40020
    2003
    Delta Distribution
    40094
    2001
    Ensayo
    9806
    2001
    Laserlight
    24998
    2001
    Four Winds
    3019
    2001
    Decca
    458191
    2000
    Pulse
    559
    2000
    Pulse / Castle Pulse
    557
    2000
    Various Artists
    Laserlight
    32100
    2000
    Delta Distribution
    24460
    2000
    Laserlight
    15816
    2000
    Laserlight
    14381
    2000
    Amon Ra
    67
    2000
    Americus Records
    19991009
    1999
    Naxos
    554045
    1999
    Seraphim Classics
    1999
    Strings
    99348
    1999
    EMI Classics
    56791B
    1999
    Danacord
    481-482
    1998
    Koch
    317972
    1998
    Intersound
    1418
    1998
    Intersound
    1420
    1998
    Ivory Classics
    70701
    1997
    Deutsche Grammophon
    453 022-2GTA2
    1997
    One Eleven Records
    50193
    1997
    Orfeo
    443961
    1996
    Four Winds
    3002
    1995
    Various Artists
    Philips / Philips
    1995
    Deutsche Grammophon
    437 464-2GX2
    1995
    London
    1995
    Various Artists
    APR (Appian)
    7016
    1995
    Various Artists
    Pearl
    9150
    1994
    Philips
    442266
    1994
    Sony Classical
    64373
    1994
    BIS
    300
    1993
    Harmonia Mundi
    901430
    1993
    EMI Music Distribution
    64830
    1992
    Naxos
    550356
    1988
    Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    Allen Barton
    ECM
    4763022
    Classical Records
    007
    FC Records
    9729
    Forlane
    16781
    Sony Music Entertainment
    89687
    London
    414564
    Ricercar
    145143
    Brilliant
    92202/2
    Philips
    464694
    Delta Distribution
    14512
    Time/Life Music
    13614
    Grace Note Inventions
    Decca
    4172892
    Crystonyx Productions
    1003
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    9106
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    110
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    340583
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    10
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    98667
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    505
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    14681
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    15994
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    93180/3
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    000
    Various Artists
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    4758046
    Liana Lam Loo
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    Duet
    86