n 1817 Field added to the tradition of musically depicted fire and storm with the most demanding of his concertos, Piano Concerto No. 5 in C major, L'incendie par l'orage, presumably with topical reference either to the events of 1812 or to some more recent fire caused by lightning. There is an initially gentle start to the orchestral exposition of the first movement, before a passage of greater excitement, soon quelled for the moment. The piano helps to end the orchestral exposition, before the demanding limpid ornamentation of the solo entry, with its version of both subjects. The development, with a solo passage in B flat major, finds its way to the C minor storm that gives the concerto its name, subsiding into a recapitulation. The short slow movement serves as an introduction, broken briefly by a sudden interpolation from the soloist, to the final rondo, with its contrasting episodes, leading to a lilting 6 / 8 Allegretto, before the brilliant closing section. •
Field gave the first performance of his Piano Concerto No. 6 in C major in 1819 and it was published in Moscow and Leipzig in 1823, to be revised in 1830. It follows the expected form, with an orchestral exposition leading to the entry of the soloist and a dramatic prelude to the second subject, proceeding with a relative freedom of structure in its development, as episode follows episode. The slow movement is a transposed version of his Sixth Nocturne of 1817, lightly orchestrated, and is followed by a final Rondo with the expected opportunities for virtuosity in its contrasting episodes.