Composers born 1800 to 1899: Keyboard music

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G.K. Hall, Nov 12, 1999 - Music - 571 pages
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The twenty-four composers included in Volume 6 of "Women Composers: Music Through the Ages, Keyboard Music" were born between 1800 and 1899. Music by some of these women will also appear in Volumes 7 (vocal/choral music) and 8 (large and small instrumental ensembles). The works originate from eleven countries: France (five women), the United States (five women), England (four women), Germany (three women), and one each from Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Puerto Rico, Scotland, and Spain. The compositions include music for solo piano, four-hand piano, two pianos, and organ; music in large genres (sonatas and suites) and small forms (etudes, preludes, fugues, waltzes, an impromptu, a pastorale, a romanza, a fanfare, rags, variations, plaintes, and other forms of program music). Eleven composers belonged to musical families: Hensel, Schumann, Boulanger, Menter, Charninade, Hodges, Rogers, Otero, Aufderheide, Pejacevic, and Carreno. Previously unpublished music by four of the better known women -- Hensel, Schumann, Landowska, and Carreno -- appears in print here for the first time.

Progress, noted for women composers in the eighteenth century, continues in the nineteenth century as music education becomes more available to them. Women begin to win prizes: Lili Boulanger won the Prix de Rome, Cecile Chaminade won several awards and was the first woman admitted to the Legion of Honor; and Louise Farrenc won the Prix Chartier twice. Several of the women became role models for younger musicians: Amy Beach through Mrs. Beach Clubs for teachers and students, and Mana-Zucca as a patron of the arts who promoted young and established performers in a concert series in her home inFlorida.

In this volume, music by French women includes a set of variations on a Russian air by Louise Farrenc; a group of short works for one piano and waltzes for piano four-hands by Marie Jaell; and a "Pastorale" by the only female member of "Les Six," Germaine Tailleferre. Three beautiful miniatures by Lili Boulanger, sister of Nadia (both daughters and granddaughters of composers), and a sonata by Cecile Chaminade completes the group of French composers.

United States composer Amy Beach's two "Hermit" pieces, based on bird calls, are followed by Mary Howe's two-piano arrangements of two short orchestral works. Music by Mana-Zucca, a long-lived pianist, composer, musical comedy star, and patron of the arts, and a suite of three short pieces by Marie Bergersen ensue. May Aufderheide, who contributed significantly to the development of white ragtime music, composed the three rags found in the volume.

Elizabeth Stirling, the earliest of the English women, wrote the two works for organ. Three of the women from the United Kingdom who eventually found their way to the United States include Faustina Hasse Hodges and Clara Kathleen Rogers, composers of salon music, and Helen Hopekirk (from Scotland), represented by a suite. The final English contribution is a" Theme and Variations" by Dora Bright.

Three German composers originate from musical families. Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel's three previously unpublished, untitled piano pieces join Clara Schumann's previously unpublished fugues on themes of J. S. Bach, preludes, and a prelude and fugue. Three character pieces by Sophie Menter, wife of cellist David Popper, were published during her lifetime.

An impromptu by the HungarianDora Pejacevic, a waltz by Elizabeth Kuyper from the Netherlands (written while the composer was in the United States), and another waltz by Puerto Rican Ana Otero appear here. A long suite by the Norwegian, Agathe Backer Grondahl, a "Fanfare" written at the end of World War II by Wanda Landowska, and four plaintes by Teresa Carrefio complete this volume.

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Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel 18051847
Clara Schumann 18191896
Elizabeth Stirling 18191895
Clara Kathleen Rogers 18441931
Marie Jaëll 18461925
Sophie Menter 18461918
Agathe Backer Grondahl 18471907
Teresa Carreño 18531917
Amy Marcy Cheney Beach 18671944
Elisabeth Kuyper 18771953
Wanda Landowska 18791959
Mary Howe 18821964
ManaZucca 18841981
May Frances Aufderheide 18881972
Germaine Tailleferre 18921983
Marie Christine Bergersen 18941989

Helen Hopekirk 18561945
Ana Otero 18611905
Dora Bright 18631951
Cécile Louise Stephanie Chaminade

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