The Classical Era

mid-eighteenth to mid-nineteenth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

John Field



Born into a musical Dublin family, John Field showed an early interest in music. By the age of nine he had begun lessons with Tommaso Giordani and in the spring of 1792 gave his first public performances on the piano to an ecstatic reception. In 1793 the family moved to London, where his father, a violinist, joined the orchestra at the Haymarket Theatre while Field took employment in the showrooms of Muzio Clementi's piano warehouse. He undertook a seven-year apprenticeship to Clementi and in 1793 made his first London appearance in a benefit concert playing a piece described as "a lesson on the new grand piano forte."

In his final year of apprenticeship Field took the bold step of presenting his First piano concerto at a concert held at the King's Theatre early in 1799. He basked in two seasons of great popularity, in the second year publishing his important Piano sonatas. Opus 1, dedicated to Clenienti in recognition of his guidance over the years. In 1802 Clementi reciprocated by taking Field on a continental tour starting in Paris and ending in St Petersburg.

Field decided to remain in Russia, and lived under the patronage of an important Russian general, Marklovsky. Within a year he made his concert debut at the Philharmonic Hall in St Petersburg. He became much in demand for teaching, concerts, and private performances in fashionable homes. Fie toured Russia, making his Moscow debut in 1806, and eventually settled on dividing his existence between St Petersburg and Moscow. From Field's early days in Russia date The bear dance and Variations on a Russian air. both piano duets. The latter is based on a Russian folk tune and is a forerunner of the nationalistic works of Glinka and Balakirev.

Field flourished as a piano virtuoso of rare talent. Fie wrote seven piano concertos, but his most important compositions are his Nocturnes, a form he developed to illustrate the expressive side of his playing that countered his sheer technical brilliance. The interpretive style he forged influenced Romantic piano composers such as Chopin and Liszt. He published 19 Nocturnes between 1812 and 1836, all characterized by a mood of melancholy and the use of widely spaced broken chords in the left hand while the right hand carries the melody.

While living in St Petersburg Field married one of his pupils, Adelaide, while also keeping a French mistress; both women bore him sons. Adelaide left him, however, and Field's creative work seriously diminished as alcoholism gripped him. In 1831 he returned to London for cancer treatment. He gave concert performances m England, France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy, but these were poor shadows of his performances m Russia. In Naples his health deteriorated and for most of 1834 he lay in hospital until rescued by a Russian benefactor. He returned to Moscow, where he worked intermittently until his death in 1837.


John Field



John Field (1782-1837)




Nocturnes Nos. 1,2, 4-6, 8-16, 18


Piano concertos


Piano sonata in В

Variations in В flat on a Russian air, "Kamarinskaya"


Pierre-Narcisse Guerin
















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