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This month sees the release of a 6-CD box set of John Field's piano concertos, nocturnes and sonatas performed with impeccable artistry by the British pianist Benjamin Frith.

‘From his early Piano Sonatas Op. 1 composed in London, to his later Italianate Nocturnes, the Irish-born composer-pianist John Field created a path from his classical roots to a new Romantic style – all perfected in his adopted Russia. There, idolised by the musical public, his singing tone and quiet ease at the keyboard became legendary.

Providing a historical link between Mozart and Chopin, Field’s Piano Concertos combine elegance and bravura, with many a passage predicting the Polish composer’s later works.

This project was a liberating experience to record, and listeners can chart Field’s progress towards a new era.’

Benjamin Frith

FIELD, J.: Piano Concertos / Nocturnes / Piano Sonatas (6-CD Box Set)
8.506033 [6 DISCs]
John FIELD (1782–1837)
Piano Concertos *
Nocturnes • Sonatas

Benjamin Frith, Piano
Northern Sinfonia * • David Haslam *
Andrew Mogrelia * • Royal Scottish National Orchestra *

Irish by birth, John Field gained an international reputation as one of the finest pianists of his time, with an influential delicacy and nuance in his playing that is expressed in his innovative and poetically lyrical Nocturnes. Field’s earlier Sonatas are more classical in feel, but their sense of flow and dramatic narrative exhibit qualities that are developed and given added virtuoso panache in his fine Piano Concertos, works admired by Liszt, Chopin and Schumann. ‘Benjamin Frith has done a stellar job in bringing these concertos into the sunlight, brilliantly supported by the Northern Sinfonia under David Haslam’ (Pianist magazine).

What’s in the boxed set
Disc 1 • 8.553770
Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 3
Frith • Northern Sinfonia • Haslam
  Listen to an extract from
Piano Concerto No. 1:
I. Allegro
Disc 2 • 8.553771
Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 4
Frith • Northern Sinfonia • Haslam
  Listen to an extract from
Piano Concerto No. 4:
II. Siciliano: Poco adagio
Disc 3 • 8.554221
Piano Concertos Nos. 5 and 6
Frith • Northern Sinfonia • Haslam
  Listen to an extract from
Piano Concerto No. 6:
III. Rondo moderato
Disc 4 • 8.573262
Piano Concerto No. 7
Irish Concerto
Piano Sonata No. 4

Frith • Northern Sinfonia • Haslam
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Mogrelia
★★★★★
★★★★
  Listen to an extract from
Piano Sonata No. 4:
I. Moderato
  Listen to an extract from
Nocturne No. 4
  Listen to an extract from
Nocturne No. 18,
"Le midi"
More recordings featuring Benjamin Frith
‘Lucy Gould and Benjamin Frith play this music spectacularly. It is well written and well-played… I want to hear [them] again and again.’
American Record Guide
8.553591
TIPPETT, M.:
Piano Concerto
Ritual Dances
(from The Midsummer Marriage)

Frith • BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Hurst
‘Benjamin Frith is unfazed by the torrent of notes in the Piano Concerto, and plays this beautiful work with tireless loveliness.’
Classic FM
‘Benjamin Frith is…a compelling advocate of the piano, distilling the essence of harpsichord techniques – the sparkle of plucked strings, coruscating articulation, layered contrasts and unaccented ornaments.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★
‘Benjamin Frith’s accounts are first class…
[His] playing has plenty of dash, yet its impetuosity is never inclined to run away with itself.’
The Penguin Guide


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