Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp Minor (Op. Post.)

We’re delighted to announce a new Annotated Study Edition and Online Academy walk-through of Chopin’s beautiful Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. Posth. Dedicated to his sister, Ludwika “as an exercise before beginning the study of my second Concerto”, the work was not published until 1875. Two different versions of the score exist, with the Henle Urtext being the most commonly accepted.

The Nocturne has an illustrious history. It was played by Holocaust survivor Natalia Karp for a Nazi concentration camp commandant, who was so impressed with her playing that he spared her life. It was also featured in Roman Polanski’s film The Pianist.

The work is included in the ABRSM Grade 7 examination syllabus, and while one of Chopin’s more accessible pieces it still poses several challenges even for accomplished pianists. Our edition and walk-through feature detailed footnotes and practice worksheets designed to assist in tackling everything from balancing the opening chords, creating beautiful trills, shaping the left hand melodically and managing the fiorature in the coda.

Annotated Study Edition

The Annotated Study Edition is a downloadable, printable PDF featuring the following content:

  • Introductory notes and Urtext score
  • Annotated score with footnotes and QR codes linking to practice worksheets and online videos
  • Four practice worksheets with detailed exercises and numerous video demonstrations focussing on specific areas of the work such as the opening chords, left hand accompaniment and the coda

The study edition is available for purchase and download via our eBook store either as a stand-alone publication or as part of one of our bundles via the following links:

Existing bundle customers or Online Academy premium subscribers will also get automatic access to this new edition via the My Ebooks section of our website (further details will also be provided via email).

Online Academy Walk-throughs

The Online Academy walk-through and resources features the following:

  • Introductory notes and walk-throughs based on Annotated Study Edition footnotes
  • Online and downloadable versions of the practice worksheets with embedded video

These online resources are available to all existing Online Academy subscribers. Premium subscribers will also have access to the complete Annotated Study Edition via the My Ebooks section of our website. Please click here to view the walk-through or click here to view subscription and upgrade options.

In closing, we’ll leave you with a preview from the introductory video to Worksheet 3 on the left hand broken chords:


Chopin’s Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor

Chopin wrote the Nocturne in C-sharp minor (op. posth.) in 1830, but it was only published 40 years later in 1870.

Dedicated to his sister, Ludwika “as an exercise before beginning the study of my second Concerto”, there are some interesting parallels with some of the themes between the Nocturne and the Concerto no. 2 in F minor, op. 21. Getting to know the concerto will certainly enhance your appreciation of this beautiful Nocturne.

I decided to put together a video walkthrough of the introduction only. The reason for this is I have noticed over the years examining and adjudicating this piece that I have never once heard the introductory bars played to my satisfaction. Maybe it’s because they look easy, and players don’t bother to practise them much. However, like any introduction first impressions count for a lot. If these bars don’t engage the listener, communication of the rest of the piece is likely to suffer.

Further reading & resources

  • For my blog post on the annotated study edition and video on how to play the LH arpeggio patterns, click here
  • A full series of detailed video walkthroughs and worksheets for this work is available on the Online Academy here.
  • My Annotated Study Edition for this work can also be purchased separately from our store here.