Chopin – Nocturne in C Minor, op. 48 No. 1. Detailed Piano Tutorial

PianoCareer. Chopin - Nocturne in C Minor, op. 48 No. 1. Analysis and Step-by-Step Tutorial.Hi guys! Are you up for a new challenge? :P

Today’s video tutorial is dedicated to a black-belt advanced piece: the amazing Nocturne in C Minor, op. 48 No. 1 by Frederic Chopin! 8)

Did I mention that this is a black-belt piece? :P

An epic dramaturgy, a VERY wide range of expressive nuances and technical challenges – the Nocturne has it all! And, above everything else, this music has the power to ‘grip you by the heart’ and never let you go… Once you get acquainted with this masterpiece, you’ll fall in love with it. For life ;D.

Have you ever practiced a Nocturne before? If you haven’t, I recommend to start with an easier one – such as the famous Nocturne in C# Minor, op. posth.

And now we’re ready to begin! 8)

First, download the needed score:
Chopin – Nocturne in C Minor, op. 48 No. 1.

Next, you have to ‘meet’ the music!

From the many professional recordings available on YouTube, I chose the following four:
Arthur Rubinstein
Vladimir Ashkenazy
Valentina Lisitsa
Nikolai Lugansky

Listen to at least one of them before watching the tutorial below :). Then, before (or during) the practice process, you can listen to the other ones as well. Notice (and enjoy) the unique vision of every performer, and how it is reflected in their tempo (and use of rubato), sound colors, phrasing, dynamics, voicing, emotional intensity etc. Such a great insight into the amazing flexibility of our art! 8)

Chopin – Nocturne in C Minor, op. 48 No. 1.
Analysis and Step-by-Step Tutorial

Part I. Musical Analysis. Detailed Tutorial for the Exposition (bars 1-24).

Video highlights:

00:02. Played Intro.
00:47. Introduction.

Musical Analysis.
01:23. Artistic concept.
01:55. The unusual ternary form.
03:12. Dramaturgy: Exposition.
04:56. Middle section.
06:30. Reprise.

Step-by-Step Tutorial.
08:54. 1st phrase. The 3 main challenges – phrasing, singing tone, effortless accompaniment.
09:52. LH practice.
12:53. RH practice. Musical image and resulting touch. Intonation. Phrasing.
18:59. Practicing both hands together. Sound balance; phrasing; emotional image.
20:56. 2nd phrase. Tempo and pulsation. Phrasing.
25:47. 3rd and 4th phrases (bars 9-16). Phrasing. Harmonic awareness. Pedaling. Hand distribution for the LH tenth stretches. The ‘quiet culmination’ in bar 15.
36:58. 5th phrase (bars 17-20). Dramaturgy: the ‘dreamy’ episode. Rubato. Harmony.
40:29. 6th phrase (bars 21-24): the culmination of the Exposition. The RH polyphonic element.
45:35. Conclusion. A quick recap of the Dramaturgy of the Exposition.

48:03. Ending. Where to find Parts II and III of this tutorial :).

Get access to PARTS II and III of this tutorial (focused on the Middle section and the Reprise from Chopin’s Nocturne op. 48 No. 1) by becoming a member of my Piano Coaching Program at! 😉

In the Private Members Area you will also discover many hundreds of other exclusive tutorials for ALL levels (including step-by-step courses and interactive projects) that reveal the professional secrets of the Russian piano school – helping you to transform your technical & expressive skills, and take your playing to a whole new level of freedom, brilliance and artistry! 8)

Enjoy every step of this challenging and very rewarding practice journey! 8) ;D

P.S. Many new articles and video tutorials are coming soon on! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Google + (and now also on Pinterest!) to get instant updates, support and motivation! ;)

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