John Field’s Nocturne No. 5 in B-Flat Major: Elizabeth Joy Roe

John Field (1782-1837), the Irish composer, pianist, and teacher, is credited with developing the solo piano nocturne. His music and pianistic style influenced a later generation of composers, including Frédéric Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Franz Liszt. Born in Dublin, Field gave his first performance at the age of 9 and rose to prominence as a prodigy. In his writings, Haydn noted “Field a young boy, which plays the pianoforte Extremely well.” In 1802 he resettled in Russia, where briefly he taught Mikhail Glinka.

Among Field’s compositions are eighteen Nocturnes. This is serene music of the evening in which a melody floats above arpeggiated left hand accompaniment. In his publication of the Nocturnes, Liszt wrote, poetically,

None have quite attained to these vague aeolian harmonies, these half- formed sighs floating through the air, softly lamenting and dissolved in delicious melancholy. Nobody has even attempted this peculiar style and especially none of those who heard Field play himself, or rather who heard him dream his music in moments when he entirely abandoned himself to his inspiration.

This performance of the Nocturne No. 5 in B-flat Major, H. 37 features the American pianist, Elizabeth Joy Roe:

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  • Field: Nocturne No. 5 in B-flat Major, H. 37, Elizabeth Joy Roe Amazon

Featured Image: Rock of Cashel, Ireland

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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