John Field Piano Works
Lucky Field—and lucky us too—that he has dedicated fellow-Dubliners like John O'Conor and Miceal O'Rourke to uphold him on disc. With concertos, sonatas and of course the legendary nocturnes already in good supply, O'Rourke now offers a generous miscellany of long-forgotten miniatures mostly new to the catalogue.
Variation, either classically sectional or spun into the more romantically continuous quasi-fantasia, emerges as Field's favoured form. Not everything is as ear-catching in texture or tonal exploration at extremes of the fast-evolving keyboard as the (predictably) already recorded (by Richard Burnett) Russian song and Kamarinskaya sets. Certainly the longest of the Fantasias
Recording in the warmly resonant Maltings at Snape, O'Rourke could have risked a more scintillating, devil-may-care brilliance in the Rondo. But I liked his refusal to inflate so much else, his preference for tactfully yielding sentiment in Field's gracious lyricism and delicacy in its fanciful fioritura rather than a self-conscious search for hidden depths that are simply not there.'