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And Liszt collects and publishes Field's Nocturnes...
Field from Clementi to Liszt
John Field is the champion-composer of a country, Ireland, which in the 18th century represented the outskirts of the main musical world.
      It is a shame that the inventor of a whole musical genre, the Nocturne (with its deliberate revolutionary departing from all the music conventions of its time), may still remain de facto a lesser known composer. Who, listening to Chopin, will consider Field's and Hummel's art, before Chopin's one?
        Pupil of Clementi, Field was badly treated by his ca. 48-year-old teacher and mentor (... or ruthless master/boss?). The conditions of work Field was obliged to bear under Clementi today probably would be considered rather unacceptable (and against the human rights of workers)... After all, Clementi, the Rome child-prodigy sold at the age of 10 to his English patron, was a rather rude man...
      Nonetheless, Field's music followed a total different path, that of the sublimation of pain and sorrow through the realm of poetic sensibility and of a whispering calmness...
      36 years after the first appearance of Field's Nocturnes, Franz Liszt considered his own personal duty to accurately publish and to praise these works, which created a new genre in a period, when musical conventions were still important, if not fundamental... The eulogy to John Field and of his works left by Franz Liszt is still today an important document (and with some important words also on Chopin's own works seen in comparison) and should be a reference to all who want to really rediscover the music and the spirit of these works by John Field. Even more important, since Liszt found the qualities of John Field and of his music so distant (probably also radically) from his own way of being an artist and a composer.
                                            
Pages From Liszt's Eulogy to John Field
[...] the admirers of Field, who can with difficulty obtain his complete works, which are true master-pieces of their kind, and which are characterized in an eminent degree by delicacy of feeling, or what the poets call sensibility.

Mr. Field's Notturnos have retained their youthful grace by the side of many things that have long become obsolete. After a lapse of thirty-six years from the time they made their first appearance, they still possess a balmy freshness and a fragrant perfume. Where else could we meet with such a perfect and incomparable simplicity? Nobody after him had the capacity to reproduce the charms of his caressing language, which affects us like a tearful and tender look, and which lulls like the soft and regular rocking of a boat on the water, or like the gentle oscillations of a hammock, swinging to and fro with a seductive languor, inclining to serene meditation and poetic repose.
    None have quite attained to these vague eolian harmonies, these half-formed sighs floating through the air, softly lamenting and dissolved in delicious melancholy.
    Nobody has even attempted his peculiar style...

[...]

This form of musical writing will never grow old, for it is perfectly adapted to its impressions, which do not belong to the commoner order of sentiments... the pure emanations that will exercise a perpetual spell over the heart of man...

[...]

His execution flowed clear and limpid. His fingers glided over the keys, and the sounds they awoke seemed to follow like a ridge of feathery foam.

[...]

If he composed, it was, in some sort, by way of diversion. Several of his productions, unhappily too few, his concertos in particular, contain pages of striking originality, and of incontestable harmonic merit...

[...]

It was formerly necessary that they should be either Sonatas or Rondos etc.: Field was the first to introduce a species which belonged to none of the established classes, and in which feeling and melody reigned alone, liberated from the fetters and encumbrances of a coercive form. He opened the way for all the productions which have since appeared under the title of songs without words, impromptus, ballads etc. and to him we may trace the origin of those pieces designed to paint individual and deep-seated emotions. He discovered that domain, as new as it is favourable to inspirations more subtle than grandiose, to fantasies rather lyrical, than dramatic.

[...]

The name of Nightpiece well suits those works which Field chose so to denominate, carrying our thoughts to those hours when the soul, freed from all the cares of the day, turns solely upon herself and darts into the mysterious regions of the starry heaven.
 
                                      __________________
J. Field, 18 Nocturnes for Piano:

SCORE
18 Nocturnes (http://imslp.org)

RECORDING
Miceal O'Rourke, Piano
Field: 18 Nocturnes - Chandos
MozartCircle
S. & L.M. Jennarelli