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…
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.