Music on Radio
Friday 07 February 1997
These 11.30pm repeats from last week's noonday strand have offered one of those documentary-style explorations of an era that Composer of the Week has developed in its current incarnation. School isn't quite the word, and nor is composer because these musicians were running an entire economy of their own with unstoppable energy.
When their leading spirit Muzio Clementi had made his mark with composing and made his pile from teaching, he moved into publishing and piano manufacture. At the start of the 19th century, when London had become the world's second centre of music publishing after Paris, he went off on a business tour with John Field. This was a leg-up that the ambitious 20-year-old from Dublin made the most of. In his role as what the presenter Stephanie Hughes called "salesman-demonstrator", Field played a singularly catchy sonata of his own all over Europe. Soon he was living in St Petersburg and making virtuoso tours which gave the idea of the Nocturne for piano to the world in general and to Chopin in particular.
They were heady days in London, with Haydn making his visits to write symphonies for Salomon's concerts. Clementi's colleagues and rivals featured a catalogue of names that people who learn the piano half-remember: Cramer, Dussek, Moscheles.
As so often in the history of British music, they were nearly all emigres. Clearly they stayed in the learners' canon for so long because of their efforts in getting themselves printed. The music often now sounds strong or (as with Dussek) quirky without quite having the focus of the dominant classical names. Clementi had the bad luck to be an influence on Beethoven - hindsight makes him less fresh now than he would have seemed in his time. The range of his piano concerto, which he industriously revised as a sonata when it was not much played, sounds quite imposing as long as you put Beethoven's No 1 firmly out of your thoughts.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove