Introduction by Benedetta Perilli of La Repubblica
Music by Auguste Holmès, Fanny Mendelssohn, Mél Bonis, Clémence de Grandval, Emilie Mayer, Amanda Maier
In July 1820, Fanny Mendelssohn read in a letter addressed to her by her father: "Music will perhaps become a profession for Felix whereas for you, it should only ever remain a pleasure and never the raison d'etre of your existence and daily life. […] Your sincere appreciation of the praise he receives, demonstrates that you should have deserved much more in his place. Stay true to these sentiments and this way of being, they are feminine and that that is feminine is the only ornament for a woman."
Despite certain restrictions, there were many women immersed in the world of music in the mid-1800s. Some were composers, others, and more rarely, had a concert career or were singers; many others taught music in colleges or on a private basis. Fanny Mendelssohn had no published works up to a year prior to her death but musical composition had been present all of her life. The situation of women in music at the time is a much more complex area than it first appears. In essence, some women became known during their own lifetimes and established careers, however time has erased them from our collective memory. Now though, the moment has arrived to rediscover them. This concert programme will be entirely dedicated to these female composers of the mid 1800s, sadly still so unknown. As well as Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-1847) who composed principally for the pianoforte or for voice and pianoforte, the programme will allow the audience to rediscover a further three important composers of the mid-19th Century: Clemence de Grandval; Augusta Holmes and Cecile Chaminade.
Clemence de Grandval (1828-1907) studied with Von Flotow and Saint Saens and was the most followed female composer of the National Music Society. De Grandval composed many operas but also instrumental pieces for the oboe.
Augusta Holmès (1847-1903) studied with Cesar Franck and, in 1884, the Paris Opera hosted her 'La Montaigne Noire'. Holmes gained significant recognition during her life, particularly with regard to her symphonic operas.
Cecile Chaminade (1857-1944) had a concert career for all her life as well as composing music. She experienced great success before eventually becoming forgotten. For example, Chaminade performed her Concerstück for pianoforte and orchestra alongside the Philadephia Orchestra in 1908.
Béatrice Muthelet – alto, Clément Noel – oboe, Anne-Elsa Tremoulet – violin, Jerome Le Franc – cello