Our sonic cabinet of curiosities exploring forgotten piano repertoire written by women, Minervan Miniatures, presents five preludes by American composer Nannie Louise Wright (1878/9 – 1958), from her collection 12 Preludes Op.25.
This selection ranges from Wagnerian grandeur to dazzling Saint-Saens-esque virtuosity that disappears in a flash, and a fascinating prelude ‘For The Left Hand Alone.’ The entire set is a marvellous addition to the canon of prelude-writing, in the tradition including Chopin, Rachmaninov and Debussy, and surely deserves to be better known. We’ll be rectifying this as part of a planned recital series next year…
Musical nostalgia from Brazil in today’s #MinervanMiniatures piece rediscovering forgotten piano repertoire written by women composers.
Today, it’s ‘Souvenirs du Passé‘ by Emilia P Dormund, published around 1904; the piece appeared in O Malho, a satirical weekly publication in Rio de Janeiro between 1902 and 1954; until 1926, the magazine regularly published a piano composition as part of its content.
Enjoy this lyrical, slightly melancholic waltz, a musical memory of the past…
It’s time to don your dancing-shoes for today’s episode of Minervan Miniatures, our series dedicated to exploring forgotten piano repertoire by women composers: ‘Odilia’ (tango) from ‘Mis pequeños amigos’ by Maria Lluisa Ponsa (1879-1919), published around 1918.
The series exploring forgotten piano repertoire by women composers, #MinervanMiniatures, unearths this finely-wrought gem by Otillie Heinke (1823-1888), the Sonatine in F major, published around 1876. Enjoy the almost Valkyrie-in-miniature passage in the development, as a gently heroic theme in thirds echoes between the left- and right-hand.
Part of the fun of exploring new repertoire is coming up with creative ideas for programming it; and for the Minervan Miniaturesrecital series next year, exploring forgotten or neglected piano repertoire by women composers, here’s a foretaste of how that might work – The Four Seasons by Women Composers, a suite of pieces reflecting the changing seasons, all written by women.
Not your usual Vivaldi!
The suite I’ve put together is of music by Marguerite Balutet, Mary Earl, Carrie Williams Krogmann, Tatiana Stankovych and Nannie Louise Wright, ranging from the opening Valzer di Primavera through to Autumn: A Tone Poem and closing with Winter and A Skating Carnival.
See more of the repertoire in the series on our YouTube playlist here.
Our project for the next academic year focusing on piano repertoire by women composers has been developing nicely recently; I’ve been at work researching further pieces, and have recorded several as part of highlighting some of the works which will feature.
A series of movements from the charming suite, A Wreath of Melodies Op. 35 by Carrie Williams Krogmann:
The first movement of a Baroque keyboard sonata by Maria Teresa d’Agnesi:
A wonderfully light-footed waltz by Marie de Croze-Magnan with a deliberately emphatic ‘wrong note’ that appears in the second section:
And the evocative Autumn – a Tone Poem by Mary Earl.
A new project for the coming year involves exploring neglected piano repertoire written by women composers, which we’re starting to present in a sequence called Minervan Miniatures. The series of short recordings highlights forgotten gems and unearths overlooked piano pieces, and affords the opportunity to bring women composers into the limelight.
Like a musical cabinet of curiosities, Minervan Miniatures will unfold as a series, and next year will see a series of piano recitals themed around diverse repertoire, performed by Your Loyal Correspondent.
The first three episodes in the series are now online; the first features two preludes by Nannie Louise Wright, combining almost Wagnerian majesty with sonorous textural writing in a series of twelve preludes that demands further exploration:
The second episode presents a trio of tangos, full of flair and vigour, by Maria Ramalho Pires Galvao and Chiquina (Francisca) Gonzaga.
The third piece is the beautifully melancholic Cantico do Pastor by the very, very young Sylvia Regina Portella:
More as the series unfolds; there are some marvellous pieces I’m currently discovering, including a bold statement set of piano preludes that deserves much wider recognition; I’m looking forward to bringing this repertoire to the concert-hall next year.
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.