Sunday, 19 October 2008

180. John Field - Piano Concertos (1799 - 1832)


Title: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 4
Performers: Benjamin Firth, Northern Sinfonia
Director: David Haslam
Year: 1996
Length: 1 hour 15 minutes


At first this album might seem like a big step forward into romanticism, well in fact the two concertos on this recording are from 1811 and 1814 respectively and in that sense they are really not that innovative... although they would be in 1799.

This just goes to show how fast music is going to evolve in the next 15 years, from classical with a hint of romantic to full-blown romantic. Field is an interesting character in the sense that he was the first person to compose nocturnes, that Chopin would then make so famous as piano pieces. In these concertos you can hear nocturne-like movements in the two slow movements, very delicate pieces indeed.

The two concertos are OK, nothing to write home about, but as said before the short slow movements stand-out for their nocturne-like qualities and the first movement of the fourth concerto stands out for its martial influences in the orchestra. Another interesting thing is Field's use of folk music, but again these concerts are well into the 19th century so that shouldn't be as strange as when Haydn did it for example.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

He died in Moscow two years later. Because Field's faith was unclear -- his parents were nominally Protestant, but he had had a Catholic wedding -- there is a legend that when he was questioned on his deathbed by a priest his friends had procured about which religion he practiced, he said, "I am a clavicist" (Je suis claveciste).

No videos of the concertos, but you get one of the Nocturne no.5:

No comments:

Post a Comment