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John Field ‒ 18 Nocturnes (with sheet music)
Performed by Benjamin Frith
00:00 – Nocturne No. 1 in E-flat Major, H 24 03:54 – Nocturne No. 2 in C minor, H 25 07:36 – Nocturne No. 3 in A-flat Major, H 26 12:30 – Nocturne No. 4 in A Major, H 36 18:03 – Nocturne No. 5 in B-flat Major, H 37
20:58 – Nocturne No. 6 “Cradle Song” in F Major, H 40 26:05 – Nocturne No. 7 in C Major, H 45 31:22 – Nocturne No. 8 in A Major, H 14 35:48 – Nocturne No. 9 “Romance” in E-flat Major, H 30 39:50 – Nocturne No. 10 in E minor, H 46 43:02 – Nocturne No. 11 in E-flat Major, H 56
49:36 – Nocturne No. 12 in G Major, H 58 52:05 – Nocturne No. 13 “Dernière Pensée” in D minor , H 59 55:52 – Nocturne No. 14 in C Major, H 60 1:04:50 – Nocturne No. 15 in C Major, H 61 1:10:01 – Nocturne No. 16 in F Major, H 62 1:14:57 – Nocturne No. 17 in E Major, H 13 1:26:00 – Nocturne No. 18 “Midi” in E Major , H 54
John Field (26 July 1782 – 23 January 1837) was an Irish pianist, composer, and teacher. Field is best known as the inventor of the nocturne, but there is evidence to suggest that this is a posthumous accolade. He is mentioned in passing in War and Peace when Countess Rostova calls on the Rostov household musician to play her favourite nocturne.
He was born in Dublin into a musical family, and received his early education there, in particular with the immigrant Tommaso Giordani. The Fields soon moved to London, where Field studied under Muzio Clementi. Under his tutelage, Field quickly became a famous and sought-after concert pianist. Together, master and pupil visited Paris, Vienna, and St. Petersburg. Ambiguity surrounds Field’s decision to remain in the former Russian capital, but it is likely that Field acted as a sales representative for the Clementi Pianos.
To the Irish pianist and composer John Field has been credited the invention of the nocturne, a form later adopted and developed by Chopin. Field was born in Dublin in 1782, the son of a violinist, but moved with his family to London in 1793, perhaps taking violin lessons from Haydn’s friend Salomon. He became an apprentice of Muzio Clementi, appearing in a series of important London concerts and later touring widely. He accompanied Clementi to Russia in furtherance of Clementi’s business activities as a piano manufacturer and remained in St Petersburg, where he became a fashionable teacher and performer, moving to Moscow in 1821. Illness brought him, in 1831, to London again, a visit followed by a continental tour and a final return to Moscow, where he died in 1837.
Music for Piano and Orchestra
Field wrote seven piano concertos, as well as one or two other compositions for piano and orchestra, a necessary contribution to his career as a performer. These works allowed him to give fuller play to technical brilliance in the piano writing.
Field’s music enjoyed considerable popularity throughout the 19th century. His nocturnes had clear influence on Chopin, Liszt, Fauré and other composers.
Field was very highly regarded by his contemporaries and his playing and compositions influenced many major composers, including Frédéric Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Franz Liszt. Although little is known of Field in Russia, he undoubtedly contributed substantially to concerts and teaching, and to the development of the Russian piano school.
Notable students include Prussian pianist and composer Charles Mayer, the Franco-Russian composer Alexandre Dubuque, and Polish pianist and composer Antoine de Kontski.
John Field, the greatest Irish musical figure of the Romantic era, developed a highly influential keyboard style. John Field has been ascribed for the invention of the Nocturne. John Field was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1782, the eldest son of Irish parents who were members of the protestant Church of Ireland. John Field was a child prodigy, who made his musical debut at nine years of age. He was born into a musical family and received his first musical training from his father Robert Field and grandfather also called John Field both made their living as musicians. He later went on to study with Tommaso Giordani.
When his family moved to London, he became an apprentice to composer/piano manufacturer Muzio Cl enti. He continued to work for Muzio Cl enti even as his popularity as a soloist increased and be became in d and in London,. His collaboration with Muzio ended in St. Petersburg Russia, there he was able to establish an independent musical career for himself. With the help of Russian General Marklovsky, who with his influential contacts, sponsored his stay in Russia. In Russia, he became an admired teacher and performer. He married one of his students and was a father to four children.
He would remain in Russia for the rest of his life, where he achieved remarkable success as both pianist and composer. He was a phenomenal artist despite suffering from alcoholism and finally succumbing to cancer in Moscow at the age of fifty-five. His legacy is as an influential figure in Romantic piano composition. John Field influenced many as he created a trad ark keyboard style at a time when piano music was demonstrated by forms and genres like the sonata, theme and variations, fantasia, rondo, and fugue. He paved the way for generations of Romantic era composers. He influenced many great musicians like Brahms, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Chopin, all of whom were grateful to John Field.
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