In the warm key of B flat major, a cantabile melody floats serenely above a fluid accompaniment, ornamented with sprays of filigree decoration; an orchestra provides a discreet background.
The music is perhaps better known as Field’s fifth Nocturne, which started life as a Serenade, gained an orchestral accompaniment to become the second movement of Field’s third Piano Concerto, and later was renamed as a Nocturne.
And here it is – courtesy IMSLP, in what seems to be the original edition .
The pulse should be felt in two beats per bar; the long phrases need a carefully sculpted line, with elegant tapering of phrase-ends. The chordal section demands balance and control, with a singing 5th finger in the RH.
It was Liszt who was asked to edit, and to write an introduction to, the first comprehensive edition of the Nocturnes in 1839 – translated extracts from Liszt’s writings here – and the full edition here ; another version on IMSLP seems much more heavily edited. Learning No 5 from Field’s own clear, uncluttered score is the best option – and a good introduction to the Nocturne genre in general.