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Saddest nocturne of Chopin. (Read 67709 times)

Offline presto agitato

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Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
« on: March 31, 2011, 12:54:51 AM »
Hello
In your opinion, which is the saddest nocturne of Chopin?
I think Op 72 in E minor could be the saddest one.
I really like to know your opinion. Thanks.
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Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 01:18:36 AM »
For me - it seems to be the Nocturne in c minor (Op 48, No. 1 - I think)?

It starts off with such a haunting c minor melody, then has a sense of uprising over it with the Middle C Major section... before drifting back into the c minor melody again at the end.

Really sad.

Offline stevebob

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 02:20:24 AM »
The Nocturne of Op. 72 would be my pick as well.  (It's also a bit sad that Chopin didn't feel it worthy of publication for some reason!)

The sketch titled Lento con gran espressione by Chopin (and which has become popularly known as Nocturne #20) is, in my opinion, very sad as well ... but in a very different sense.  :)

Is anyone aware of a piece imputed to Chopin (but probably spurious) called "Nocturne Oubliée"?  The score is at IMSLP.
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Offline invictious

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #3 on: March 31, 2011, 03:30:43 AM »
I also think Nocturne Op.48 No.1 is one of the one that gives you that..desolate feeling :(
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Offline joeplaysthepiano

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #4 on: March 31, 2011, 05:09:43 PM »
Agree about op.48 no.1.  Such sadness and many more emotions too.

Offline thinkgreenlovepiano

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #5 on: March 31, 2011, 10:35:56 PM »
I can't decide between op 48 no 1 and op 72 no 1, they are both sad in their own ways. I'm going to borrow invictious' word "desolate" and say that in my opinion, the E minor nocturne feels more desolate to me, and less sweet than the op 48 no 1.

Most of the nocturnes (and Chopin's other pieces) are a mix of emotions though, the sad parts are a bit happy and the happy parts are a bit sad... very bittersweet. So its hard for me to pick.
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Offline ongaku_oniko

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 11:01:44 PM »
can't say about saddest, since I haven't heard all or even most

But my favorite is Op. 15 no.2 in F#-.

The middle part.

Offline nickd457

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #7 on: May 13, 2011, 03:42:29 AM »
I'd say his nocturne Opus Posth. #20 is the saddest. It is so incredible, yet has the most melancholic theme to it; simply genius.
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Offline iratior

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #8 on: May 13, 2011, 10:56:01 AM »
When it comes to the expression of sadness, opus 48 no. 1 is in a class by itself.  The middle part of the piece begins with what seems like an anthem -- a musical statement of a people's aspirations -- only to be crushed as if by the sound of gunfire with the double octaves.  Often, a measure of proficiency in playing a piece is reckoned to be the ability to make the piano "sing".  If I had all the technique that the most effective performance of this nocturne requires, I would not even be trying to get the piano to sing;  I would be getting it to testify, to be a witness before the International Court of Justice at the Hague, telling the court the terrible things that had been done to an entire people.

Offline chopinaninoff

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #9 on: May 14, 2011, 01:23:46 AM »
Definitely Opus 48 no 1..
It is one of the 6 nocturnes that I play from Chopin and I can honestly say, its one of the most heartfelt and depressing ones..

Offline presto agitato

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #10 on: May 15, 2011, 02:01:29 AM »
What about Op 9 in Bb-?
The masterpiece tell the performer what to do, and not the performer telling the piece what it should be like, or the cocomposer what he ought to have composed.

--Alfred Brendel--

Offline richterfan1

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #11 on: June 06, 2011, 06:49:38 PM »
melancholy and sadness isnt the same thing,

melancholy-op.9 no.1
sadness-op.27 no.1
romance-op.27 no.2
 ;)

Offline bachbrahmsschubert

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #12 on: June 07, 2011, 02:32:47 AM »
I have to disagree with everyone here. I do not see Op. 48 No. 1 as "sad" nor do I see many of Chopin's music as "sad." When the A section returns, that is merely Chopin's obsession with Italian opera. Chopin very often elaborated his opening melodies, so don't misconstrue this as distress or agitation.

I think that is a very common misconception with Chopin as an artist, pianist and human being. But I don't want to start a war, so I'll just stay on topic.

The Op. 72 nocturne was written just after his sister had died. I believe Chopin was 17, but don't quote me. I think the Henle edition has the date the work was composed. The nocturne that has the most negative effect on my mood would be #7 - C sharp minor, despite it's "happy ending." :)

Offline richterfan1

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #13 on: June 07, 2011, 12:16:47 PM »
[qdespite it's "happy ending." :)
[/quote]

 ending is maybe in the major, but it isnt happy at all, and yep, that piece is very sad, almost morbid

Offline bachmaninoff

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #14 on: June 08, 2011, 09:11:58 PM »
C# minor post for me. So simple, yet so melancholic. Really does pull the heartstrings!
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Offline spencervirt

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #15 on: June 10, 2011, 11:51:56 PM »
I would agree with Op. 48 no. 1.

The way that Chopin transitions from c minor to c major and crescendo's with the octaves and the repeated chords at the end is genius.

Chopin was such a special composer. He was a different type of genius than Bach. It's hard to explain isn't it? I spent about 3 hours today on his fourth ballade and some of the harmonies in the left hand during the main theme are so unorthodox. They sound almost ugly when played slowly but up to speed the harmonies are really interesting. The slight dissonance contrasts with the a flat section of the main theme so well, keeping the sad tone of the piece. This is why he was such a genius. The same idea is true with the nocturne on a larger scale.

5 dollar word- juxtaposition of c major and c minor makes that piece sad- as if happiness comes and fades away.

Offline jeffkonkol

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #16 on: June 26, 2011, 06:40:36 AM »
48 -1 (13) has a true moment of break... it is a piece within a piece, where it seems that sadness and anger is literally breaking into the song.  Sweet, anthemic, calming chords... broken by the insideous climbing octaves, completely outside of the time signature.  Ultimately they swell to overtake the piece, with the emotional break happening with the Eb being struck on the scale down.

One can argue that it is more madness than sadness.

opus 72 no 1 is also a very sad piece

I guess 'sad' as a characterization is limiting.  I think the beauty of the nocturnes is that, while they all embody a certain sense of sadness, they illuminate many different characters of sadness.  Nocturne 13 (48-1) has anger and madness, while nocturne 20 has huge amounts of cynicism with the mocking play at childhood lullabies... etc...

Offline nanabush

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #17 on: June 27, 2011, 02:35:29 AM »
I don't know all of them too well, but the C# minor Op 27 has a really intense effect in the last few bars.  There's this hopeful side to it, but after the haunting intro and the turbulent middle section, it still has this devastating impact on the listener.  I love that piece to death, and I'm too scared to play it because I'm afraid I'd butcher it. 

Also, in the Eb major nocturne Op. 9, the mordent with the octave jump leading to the F minor harmony (in the first few bars) is absolutely perfect.  I understand this is an 'overplayed' piece, but it still is heart wrenching.
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Offline earl_of_s

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #18 on: June 27, 2011, 07:06:12 PM »
Chopin op.9 no.1 It struck a chord with me as a child. It's specially evocative despite being one of early Chopin and frankly quite hackneyed and overplayed. Especially the middle section in D flat, it is one instance of proof that even major key can be sad.

Offline allthumbs

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #19 on: July 05, 2011, 06:56:52 AM »
I don't know all of them too well, but the C# minor Op 27 has a really intense effect in the last few bars.  There's this hopeful side to it, but after the haunting intro and the turbulent middle section, it still has this devastating impact on the listener... 

I agree with nanabush, Chopin's Op.27, No.1, Nocturne in C# minor is my choice.
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Offline deighve

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #20 on: July 07, 2011, 02:28:16 PM »
Chopin's Nocturns are beautiful personal music. They are full of excitement of the foreboding mysteries of the night. For Chopin, the night is an exciting time of day.

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #21 on: July 07, 2011, 04:36:30 PM »
The E minor op 72. I don't know if it's sad, or a hopeless feeling. A short bit into the piece, there is a chromatic scale that after a while comes to the major third, and stays there for a while, but then continues to the minor. Ah, kills me every time!

Offline williampiano

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #22 on: July 31, 2011, 12:03:55 AM »
I always thought the Chopin Nocturne op. 27 no.1 in c sharp minor was really sad. Op. 48 no. 2 in f sharp minor is kinda sad too.

Offline richterfan1

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #23 on: September 10, 2011, 04:24:37 AM »
Op.27 No.1 in C# and Posthumne in C#, this C#'s are really sad ... :'(

Offline liordavid

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #24 on: September 27, 2011, 11:05:39 PM »
opus 27 no 1 is pretty depressing. i consider opus 37 no 1 to be "drunken" as well as opus 48 no 1. I always cry listening to opus 48 no 2. 72 no 1 is really depressing. i cant find the most depressing one.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #25 on: September 28, 2011, 12:26:04 AM »
opus 27 no 1 is pretty depressing. i consider opus 37 no 1 to be "drunken" as well as opus 48 no 1. I always cry listening to opus 48 no 2.

Yeah, I think that's possibly the bleakest of all (although I do feel it's let down by a rather disappointing middle section). I've never heard a performance that comes to close to reflecting how I'd like to hear it played though. It tends to move forward rather uniformly and uneventfully, with very few pianists bringing any real sense of pain and torture. Most just sound like they want to get it over with, as part of an obligation to record the full set.

Regarding op. 48 no. 1, nobody brings out the sadness like Hofmann. I doubt if anyone else has achieved such a genuine cantabile in the recap:



Offline pianoplayjl

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #26 on: October 14, 2011, 06:00:13 AM »
The Nocturne in C-sharp minor. That is my favourite. I love the melody, where it makes use of trills
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Offline ngo_dustin

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #27 on: December 04, 2012, 11:43:15 PM »
nocturne op. 48 no. 1

Offline vsrinivasa

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #28 on: December 05, 2012, 02:59:34 AM »
I have to say the saddest is Op. 72 No. 1. Something about it is so melancholic and sad. The Op. 48 No. 1 is also very sad, but I think the E minor one is sadder.
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Offline teosoleil

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #29 on: December 06, 2012, 04:29:51 AM »
Haven't listened to the whole of them, but one of the reasons I find Op. 9 No. 2 the saddest is its bittersweet melody. Almost as if you're letting go of something to feign a sense of happiness, like giving up your child to live a better life you cannot provide. It's haunting, bittersweet, and hopeful at the same time--and it's precisely these relatable qualities that seem to make it so popular in the first place.

Offline chopianologue

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #30 on: December 06, 2012, 04:56:51 PM »
Saddest: Op.37 no.1 - that G minor...

Most peaceful: op.9 no.2
op.27 no.2

My top three...

Offline Derek

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #31 on: December 06, 2012, 06:51:16 PM »
It's not a nocturne, but the F# major prelude sort of resembles a nocturne and it causes me to get teary eyed every time. For me actually I can't think of too many piano pieces which continue to posses that sort of power with repeated listenings.

Offline thesuineg

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #32 on: December 06, 2012, 07:51:40 PM »
The 3rd one. Even in a major key, with a quirky feeling, I find it more beautiful than any other. the op. 48 is overplayed maybe, i used to like it alot...but now...i like playing the doppio movement part slower.

The 2nd one is also kinda "sad."

Offline quartet

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #33 on: January 26, 2016, 11:37:05 AM »
I think Nocturne C sharp minor is also another saddest Nocturne. At the end of the piece you can feel the hope as well but before you completely feel the pain...

Offline expressman70

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #34 on: January 27, 2016, 06:21:16 AM »
Op48 No1 ? Hell no, definitely not the saddest.

Offline jimroof

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #35 on: January 28, 2016, 02:59:05 AM »
Hello
In your opinion, which is the saddest nocturne of Chopin?
I think Op 72 in E minor could be the saddest one.
I really like to know your opinion. Thanks.


I would not use the word 'sad' so much as the word 'painful'.  All of Chopin's major works have moments of intense emotional pain expressed (if one is careful enough and sensitive enough to realize it). 

I think it is the pianist's duty to be deeply enough into these works to discover these moments of heartbreak.  In so doing, the joy that often surrounds it is made that much more joyous.

I actually like the Em Nocturne.  I know it is something that is not as 'respected' as his other works, but if you ask me, it has more emotion in it than anything I have ever heard from most of his contemporaries.  It is a simple, yet beautiful piece that still manages to haunt.

The Fm Ballade is highly emotional and it brings tears to my eyes.  I think the middle section of the 2nd Scherzo, played lovingly and NOT rushed, is also full of a melancholy that many pianists seem content to literally waltz right over in total disregard for what it has to offer.

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Offline mjames

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #36 on: January 28, 2016, 04:28:19 AM »
Kind of a difficult question to answer, all I get from Chopin is an intense joyful experiences.:)

Offline piulento

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #37 on: January 28, 2016, 07:33:34 PM »
I really depends on your definition of sad. Chopin has so many different types of sadness...
Op. 55 no. 1 makes you sad from loneliness.
Op. 48 no. 2 makes you sad from despair.
Op. 15 no. 1 makes you sad from yearning "togetherness".
Op. 15 no. 3 and op. 37 no. 1 make you sad from being nostalgic.
The second theme in his op. 37 no. 2 (even though it's in a major key) is the saddest love song in the world.
It all depends on what makes you sad at the moment. Sometimes you can relate more to certain types of sadness than to others.

Offline alkan2010

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #38 on: January 30, 2016, 09:35:01 AM »
A personal favourite of mine is 48.2 in F sharp minor.
A more contented type of sadness (sensuchtsvoll?) in 15.2, especially in this wonderful recording by Fiorentino:
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Offline sania

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Re: Saddest nocturne of Chopin.
«Reply #39 on: September 04, 2016, 12:40:04 PM »
I guess its between Op 48 no 1, op 72, and op 27 no 1