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A publication of her piano music is being released by Mel Bay in June
2002. Etudes for her little students Op. 50, and Etudes for the school of mechanism Op. 42.
Mel Bay is located in Pacific, Mo 1-800-863-5229 and e-mail is: <email@example.com>.
There will be 2 more volumes of 5 pieces (Nocturne, Melodie, 2 waltzes, scherzo) and Etudes de Velocity Op. 41.
Works of the great French woman-composer resuscitated in Germany
Louise Dumont-Farrenc, known as Madame Farrenc, was famous, admired and praised by critics during her life, especially in England, Germany, Belgium and France.
Robert Schumann (1810–1856) appreciated her piano work Variations on an Russian Air in 1835; Hector Berlioz (1803–1869) noted her "rare talent for the orchestration"; the best known Paris critic of the 19th Century, François-Joseph Fétis (1784–1871) included her name in his important lexicon "Universal Biography of Musicians" and stressed her "quasi masculine gift for musical organisation".
Madame Farrenc bequeathed to the posterity symphonies, overtures, quintets, chamber music works, piano pieces. Her works reveal her deep admiration for Viennese classics, especially for Beethoven and Schubert, but her style is personal and refined. Some tonal colours from her symphonies are reflected on works by Johannes Brahms (1833–1897). Let us not forget that Chopin was more than inspired in his Étude op.25 Nr. 1 by another woman-composer, Maria Szymanowska (1790–1831), that Schumann used a "Fandango" by his spouse Clara Wieck-Schumann (1819–1896) in the first movement of his Sonata op.11, that Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) included in his two Song-Cycles some works for voice written by his elder sister Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (1805–1847). Notwithstanding her evident extraordinary artistic and technical qualities, Madame Farrenc’s works do not show the presence of this invisible and indefinable spark, which marks the difference between the great talent and the genius.
Madame Farrenc was born in Paris, in the family of sculptors and painters. She studied piano with a pupil of the Italian born English pianist and composer Muzio Clementi (1752–1832). Antonin Reicha (1770–1836), Czech born French composer, friend of Beethoven, professor at Paris Conservatory, taught her the theory. Madame Farrenc married the flutist Aristide Farrenc in 1821. Her husband became her impresario. Between 1842 and 1872, she taught at Paris Conservatory. Madame Farrenc died in Paris three years after her retirement and, alas, was rapidly forgotten by her public and publishers.
The Philharmonic Orchestra of German Broadcasting Company NDR in Hamburg, conducted by Johannes Goritzki with zeal and verve, commemorated the bicentennial of Madame Farrenc’s birth with an admirable CD. Also in Germany, a critical edition of all works by the prolific French woman-composer started in 1996. France will commemorate the 130th anniversary of her death with a series of concerts and a CD with her quintets.
Madame Farrenc is certainly the greatest woman-composer in the history of classical music.
(Contribution by Jean-François Grancher <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
Jeanne-Louise Dumont Farrenc (1804–1875), French pianist and composer,
studied composition with Moscheles and Hummel, and with Reicha at the
Paris Conservatoire. After marrying the famous flutist Aristide
Farrenc, she taught at the Conservatoire for thirty years, the only
woman to hold a permanent position there as an instrumentalist in the
19th century. One of the first women composers to gain wide regard
throughout Europe, her symphonies were performed in Brussels, Paris,
Copenhagen and Geneva, and she received critical acclaim from comp=schumanr>Robert Schumann and Hector Berlioz.
The premier of the Nonetto in November, 1850, featured 19-year-old
legendary violinist Josef Joachim, and catapulted Farrenc to
near-celebrity status as a composer — so much so that she subsequently
requested that the Paris Conservatoire put her salary in line with male
professors, a request which was immediately granted.
[The previous was printed with her newly published Nonetto, Opus 38, 1849 (International Opus, Ed. by William Scribner).]