This set of pieces is different from Catoire’s Op 10 in that the pieces seem not to have an underlying unity. The opening Chant du soir
is one of Catoire’s greatest short pieces, a work so fine and direct in its emotional impact and compositional beauty that one may hope this recording will ensure it enters the repertoire at last. The Méditation
has, within its brief structure, a wider mood than may be imagined, and the central section of the tripartite Nocturne
embroiders the almost Chopinesque theme. The mention of Chopin—a distant influence—is not inappropriate in late nineteenth-century Russian music, for the Irish composer John Field, the inventor of the nocturne, a form that influenced Chopin, had settled in St Petersburg in 1803 and died in Moscow in 1837. The final piece, in G flat major, is another of Catoire’s most compelling and original studies.
from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 1999