Music Composers

John Field-Part 7

From 1804 to 1807 Field's services both as a virtuoso and as a teacher were in much request; and he gave numerous concerts which proved highly remunerative. Alas! like so many other artists, he was improvident and lived like a true Bohemian - a life diversified with various love affairs. He soon acquired a mastery of French, German and Russian, and was in high favor in the most select circles. He got petted so much that he became indolent and frivolous, added to which he was very absent-minded and eccentric. To complicate matters, he became infatuated with a young French actress, Mdlle. Percheron, whom he married early in 1808. The marriage ceremony was performed by a clergyman called Syuruk, and an Englishman named Jones acted as best man.

We next hear of Field in 1812, when he and his wife took part in a concert at Moscow on Sunday, March 10, for the benefit of the orchestra of the Imperial Theatre. Four days later they gave a grand concert, tickets of which were to be had "at the residence of Princess Trubetzky, opposite the Evangelical Church." While in Moscow, Field became very friendly with Steibelt, who was the great star in that city.

The year 1812 is memorable for the composition of a grand Marche Triomphale "en honneur des victoires du General Comte de Witgenstein," quickly followed by a Premier Divertissement, an Air Russe Varie (duet) and a Fantasia. In the late summer of the year 1814, Field composed the first Three Nocturnes and a pianoforte sonata; and in December of the same year Peters published his Rondo Ecossais (Speed the Plough). In regard to the last mentioned, it is a misnomer to call is Ecossais, as it is genuinely Irish.

The Etude Magazine August 1915





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