Ackermann’s Repository of Arts/Series 1/Volume 1/April 1809/Review of New Music

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, Volume 1, April 1809  (1809) 
Review of New Music


A Military Concerto for the Piano-forte, with Accompaniments, composed for H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, by T. Latour, price 8s. 6d.

In giving our opinion on the present work, we are well aware, that concertos are not so much intended to exhibit the science of the composer, as the skill and agility of the performer; and in this instance it is evident, that the principal aim of the author was that of giving to amateurs an opportunity of displaying moderate abilities to the greatest advantage; the composition is brilliant, and yet the passages lie perfectly under the hand.

The three movements of this concerto, consisting of a larghetto of a few bars, an allegro and rondo, are in C major.

The larghetto, although short, is expressive and solemn, and the responses introduced into the accompaniments cannot fail to add to the effect of the whole. In the allegro the character of martial music is preserved throughout, although in the different ideas little of originality is to be met with. We have been much pleased with some of Mr. L.’s modulations and transitions, particularly page 9 and 10. The subject, or rather the beginning of

the rondo, is neat; but it is soon abandoned, for what appears to us the principal subject of this movement, viz. the celebrated air, Non piu andrai far fallone amoroso, in Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro, of which several clever variations are incorporated with the rondo. We are far front objecting to the introduction of such a masterpiece of military composition in Mr. L.’s military concerto; Mozart himself has borrowed it again in his Don Juan: on the contrary, the selection does credit to Mr. L.’s judgment. The whole of the concerto appears to us rather longer than what we know from experience to be a quantum sufficit for the usual impatience of a public audience; some passages, which cause a sensation of sameness, might therefore have been omitted or curtailed, without endangering the texture of the whole.

We trust the motives of this candid statement of our opinion will not be misconceived by the author of the military concerto, which in many respects merits our commendation as a brilliant performance, well adapted for the amusement and improvement of musical students; at the same time, that it entitles us to hope for further efforts of his promising pen.