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date: 06 June 2020

Field, Johnlocked

  • Robin Langley
  • , revised by Majella Boland


(b Dublin, bap. Sept 5, 1782; d Moscow, Jan 23, 1837). Irish composer, teacher, and pianist. He is credited for being the originator of the Nocturne and for the style of pianism regarded as ‘Chopinesque’. Although Field was not unique in composing in this style – notwithstanding that it predates his nocturnes – his domestic popularity, in part due to residing in Russia for over three decades and disseminating works through publications, secured a place for the nocturnes in piano literature. From this perspective, he might be best thought of as the father of the nocturne rather than its inventor, in the same way that Haydn is often referred to as the father of the symphony.

Of Protestant Irish stock, he was the eldest son of a professional violinist, Robert Field, and Grace Field (née Marsh), and the grandson of a professional organist, also John Field, from whom he received his first musical instruction. Ostensible parental pressure ensured rapid early progress and Tommaso Giordani accepted him as a pupil for a year, during which he performed in three public concerts in Dublin. At the first, on ...

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Moscow, Rossiyskaya Gosudarstvennaya Biblioteka
Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde
London, British Library
Paris, Bibliothèque Polonaise de Paris
St Petersburg, Rossiyskaya Natsional′naya Biblioteka
Allgemeine (deutsche) Musik-Zeitung/Musikzeitung (1874-1943)
Musical Times
New York, Public Library at Lincoln Center, Music Division
Washington, DC, Library of Congress, Music Division
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung
New York, Pierpont Morgan Library
Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association
Palo Alto (CA), University, Memorial Library of Music, Department of Special Collections of the Cecil H. Green Library
Moscow, Gosudarstvennïy Tsentral′nïy Muzey Musïkal′noy Kul′turï imeni M.I. Glinki
Monthly Musical Record
Moscow, Moskovskaya Gosudarstvennaya Konservatoriya im. P.I. Chaykovskogo, Nauchnaya Muzikal′naya Biblioteka imeni S.I. Taneyeva
London, Royal College of Music, Library
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Music & Letters