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celebrating three hundred years of music by women


Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944)

Chaminade wrote prolifically, and nearly all her approximately 400 compositions were published in her life time. Although she wrote orchestral pieces (including the successful piano Conzertstucke, and Flute Concertino, a Symphony and a Ballet), her most popular works were her piano pieces, most of them character pieces, and more than 125 melodies. The music is tuneful and highly accessible, with clear textures and mildly chromatic harmonies, with a typically french wit and colour. She made extensive concert tours as a pianist, performing regularly in England, including as a welcome guest of Queen Victoria. Many Chaminade Clubs were formed in the USA around 1900, and in 1908 she made a tour of twelve American cities. The later 20th century disparagement of late-Romantic French music meant that interest in her music died after her death.


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Trio No 2 in G, pour Piano, Violon et Violoncelle, Op 11. 1881
1. Allego, G min. 2. Andante - Animato - Tempo primo, E flat maj. 3. Presto leggiero,G maj. 4. Allegro molto agitato G min. 22'
Though a relatively early work, Chaminade shows great poise in this Trio. It is typical of her, for its memorable melodies, its elegance and attractiveness. Graceful tunes with flowing momentum characterise the first movement. A gorgeous string tune frames a brief animato in the second. Feather-light semiquavers shimmer through the Presto, with nimble chromatics and arpeggios. A study finale concludes.
Published by Editions Durand (HL.50561349).

Her most played piece, the Flute Concertino, Op 107, is on Schirmer, and there are several arrangements. The Piano Concertstuck, Op 40 is on Edwin Kalmus. LudwigMasters publish lots of songs, while MusicMasters have numerous piano pieces. The ballet Callirhoe is published by Edwin Kalmus.

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