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celebrating three hundred years of music by women


Wilhelmina von Bayreuth (1709-1758)

Wilhelmina, Princess of Prussia, was the favourite sister of Frederick the Great, and like him shared a great interest in music. She married Prince Frederick of Bayreuth in 1731, and lived in that city emulating the musical and cultural standards Frederick had acheived at the Prussian Court. The most lasting monument from her time there is the superb Baroque opera house (opened in 1748) which attracted Wagner there a century later. Her musical personality caused Bayreuth's liveliness. It's not clear how much Wilhelmine wrote, as most of it is lost; however her compositions include the opera Argenore and several arias.

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Keyboard Concerto in G minor
1. Allego, G minor. 2. Cantabile, B flat major. 3. Gavottes I & II, G minor. Cembalo, Fl, Strings
The obbligato flute part could have been played either by her brother or her husband, as both were flautists (and pupils of Quantz). Each movement takes wing from solid and vigourous openings. There is a stubborn insistence about the first tutti's repeated octave jumps, offset by the buoyancy of its striding sequences. She has a Bach-like flair for phrase extensions, which is also evident in the final gavotte where the solo shadows the orchestra and emerges to take the lead. Some of the ideas in the 34 bar slow movement are more son-of-Bach in style; and in the D minor second gavotte, which serves as a central 'trio' to the first, there is a delicate episode of rather French, languishing descents.
Score from Furore Verlag, or F.E.C.Leuckart (F.E.C.L. 10190) Munich, Germany

Also on Furore Verlag: Cavatinen for voice, strings & keyboard; Flute Sonata.
Opera Argenore on Schott Music.

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