Music Composers

John Field-Part 9

"The report of the famous John Field's death at the beginning of the year is unfounded. This great virtuoso on the forte-piano still lives; and, if his love of retirement can be conquered, Europe need not yet renounce the expectation of being gratified by hearing him, but it is with difficultly he can resolve on any exhibition of his powers."

Towards the close of the year 1831 Field accepted the invitation of the Philharmonic Society of London to play at their concert on February 27, 1832. His paying on that occasion elicited the warmest admiration, especially his rendering of his own Concerto in E Flat.

At the Haydn Centenary on March 31 he played an Andante with Variations; and on May 6 he played at a reception given by Moscheles, where he had the pleasure of meeting Mendelssohn. Field's visit to London was saddened by the death of his old master, Clementi, who passed away on March 10, and who was accorded a public funeral at Westminster Abbey on March 29, Field being one of the chief mourners.

Field's reception at Paris in December, 1832, was even more brilliant than that in London; the critics were unanimous in praising his marvelous playing. As is well known, Field did not think very highly of Chopin, whose music he declared to be "un talent de chambre de malade." The salle of the Conservatoire of Paris on December 25 was crowded to hear the great Irish composer and virtuoso, and Fetis declared his technique as simply astonishing. His concertos and rondos were vehemently applauded. The great critic D'Ortigue wrote of this concert: "His is no school; neither the school of Dussek, nor of Clementi, nor of Steibelt. Field is Field's; a school of his own. He sits at the piano even as if at his own fireside with no attitudinizing. And surely his music is that of the fairies." And equally brilliant receptions awaited Field at the Pape Salon on January 20, 1833, and again on February 3.

The Etude Magazine August 1915





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