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Completeness in John Field’s Nocturnes is a moot point. As Elizabeth Joy Roe notes in the booklet, there are multiple versions of many of the pieces, and even their sequence and number are not settled – as can be seen by comparing her programme with Ewa Pobłocka’s reviewed below. Roe uses the Schirmer edition as her main source, following their numbering and stopping at No 18. The Nocturnes were written in or around 1816 and their gentle, mostly quiet expression were a new form in European music, one which Chopin would develop exquisitely. Roe’s touch is superb and she clearly has the measure of Field’s freewheeling invention – which includes a ‘Noontide Nocturne ’ – and Decca’s sound is rich and full. At almost 86 minutes in duration, excellent value, too.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica


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