Field - Piano Music

John Field

John Field (1782-1837) was born in Dublin but later moved to London, where he made a very successful debut in 1794 and entered into an apprenticeship with Muzio Clementi. Clementi certainly gave his pupil excellent musical guidance, and secured his fame by introducing him to the wider world, but is also said to have treated Field more or less like a slave, in spite of the rather substantial sums he was paid by the boys parents.
In 1801 Clementi and Field travelled to Paris, where Field immediately made a name for himself as a great performer. His performances of some of Bach’s preludes and fugues were particularly admired for the precision and delicacy of his part-playing. From Paris, Field went on to travel in the rest of Europe. He settled in Russia, where he established himself as a highly appreciated piano teacher, first in St. Petersburg and then Moscow. Many of his students were wealthy Russian aristocrats, who provided Field with a substantial income. His lifestyle became rather extravagant, and his addiction to alcohol overwhelmed him.
After this, he became known to some of his former admirers as "Drunken John". In 1831 he became very ill and travelled back to London for medical attention. Field was reunited with his mother while in London, and he also had the opportunity to meet with Mendelssohn, Moscheles and others. This visit was followed by a long concert tour through France, Italy, and Vienna, where he was a guest of Czerny. He returned to Moscow in 1835.
Field composed seven piano concertos as well as many solo piano and chamber music works but his most famous works are the Nocturnes, which served as a model for Chopin´s pieces in the same genre. At a time when a lot of other pianists were exploiting the increasing power and range of the piano, Field kept cultivating its capability for intimate sounds and expressions.

Hearing Liszt for the first time at a concert in Paris, Field asked his neighbour: "Does he bite?"

Asked on his deathbed by a priest what his religion was, Field answered: "I am a clavicist."

Louis Spohr about Clementi’s treatment of Field:
"Field had to play for hours to display the instrument to the best advantages of the purchasers. I still recall the figure of this pale, overgrown youth. (…) When Field, who had long outgrown his clothes, placed himself at the piano and stretched out his arms over the keyboard so that the sleeves shrunk up nearly to his elbows, his whole figure appeared awkward and stiff in the highest degree. "

English pianist Charles Salaman about Field’s style:
"Romantic and poetic, as if interpreting some beautiful dream, while in the singing quality of his touch, the infinite delicacy of his execution, and in his emotional expression, he was unrivalled in his day."

Field Piano Sheet Music

for digital devices or to download & print

Total pieces by Field: 18

TitleKey YearLevel

All pieces:

18 Nocturnes

Nocturne 1 E-flat Major -7
Nocturne 2 C Minor -8
Nocturne 3 A-flat Major -8
Nocturne 4 A Major -8
Nocturne 5 B-flat Major -7
Nocturne 6 F Major -8
Nocturne 7 C Major -7
Nocturne 8 A Major -8
Nocturne 9 E-flat Major -7
Nocturne 10 E Minor -7
Nocturne 11 E-flat Major -7
Nocturne 12 G Major -8+
Nocturne 13 D Minor -7
Nocturne 14 C Major -7
Nocturne 15 C Major -7
Nocturne 16 F Major -7
Nocturne 17 E Major -8+
Nocturne 18 E Major -8

Forum posts about John Field

Re: john field by Rafant
At last! A Field's fan! :D I share your taste for his Nocturnes. I have the complete collection from Decca played wonderfully by Michae...