Saturday, October 06, 2012

Field, inventor of the nocturne

Ireland's John Field (1782-1837) is finally receiving acknowledgement as a pivotal figure in the development of the early romantic piano oeuvre. Not only was he the first to write nocturnes (a form later made famous by Chopin and Faure), but his piano concertos influenced the likes of Hummel and Kalkbrenner. Naxos has released a number of CD's of the solo piano works and piano concertos of this composer, all well worth seeking out. I have chosen the first CD in the series, presenting his first nine nocturnes and first two sonatas in great performances by Benjamin Frith. Highly recommended.