by contrast, the Field Nocturne seemed appropriate for its unique colouration and allowed for
slower-paced piece to be included
Inja Davidović writes:
For an instrument some 210 years old, the square piano is in remarkably good condition; however, to reduce stress on the wooden frame, it is now tuned a Minor 3rd below concert pitch, producing a rather unexpected colouration when played. To accompany this book, it seemed appropriate that the piano should dictate the nature of the pieces selected for the CD: being fast-paced and dramatic, the Bach pieces suited the percussive nature of the square piano;
Published around 1822, John Donaldson’s Sonata for the Piano Forte represented a very different pianistic challenge. To give it the performance it deserves, we agreed that I should record it on a modern Steinway Grand. In addition to the highly progressive harmonies, the piece straddles both classical and romantic styles, thus exemplifying some of the adventurous and advanced compositional interests often associated with the London Pianoforte School. Donaldson's musical influences are present throughout. However, his highly developed compositional voice and rigorous attention to detail, give the work a unique style and character. This Sonata is Donaldson’s only known composition; accordingly, it remains as an isolated, yet splendid, account of his compositional interests and abilities. This is the only publicly available recording of this ambitious and, strangely, little-known piece.
The specially commissioned CD at the back of the book features Croatian pianist Inja Davidović playing excerpts from J S Bach’s English Suites Nos. 2 & 3 and John Field’s Nocturne No. 5 in B-flat Major on the Broadwood square piano; she also plays John Donaldson’s Sonata for the Piano Forte in G Minor on a modern Steinway Grand.