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celebrating three hundred years of music by women


Maria Hester Park (1760-1813)

The fact that there were two Maria Parks has led to some confusion! Maria Parke-Beardmore was the daughter of prominent London oboist John Parke, knew Haydn (he wrote a Sonata in D for her), and wrote some sonatas herself.

Maria Hester Reynolds-Park was a singer, pianist and composer. Not much is known about her life, though she was one of the most prolific of 18th century women composers. Among her extant works are a charming Piano Concerto and several sonatas, for piano, and for violin & piano.


Click on these works for more details below:
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Piano Concerto in E flat, Op 6; Piano & Strings (1795?)
1. Allegro; E flat. 2. Andante; B flat. 3. Rondo: Presto; E flat
When I gave the modern première of this piece in 1992 the London Independent wrote "In its bold and attractive opening pages, one sensed the confidence with which it was composed against the background of the central Austro-German tradition. But increasingly one became aware of those odd moments which came from nowhere but the composer's own individual spirit. There was a freshness and integrity of personality which was spiritedly presented by Diana Ambache and her players." The spirit of Mozart hovers over the lively first movement. A limpid slow movement leads into the energetic hunting Finale. Vivace Press.

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Violin & Piano Sonatas Op 13
No 1: Andante Maestoso - Allego Brillante; B flat. No 2: Andante expressivo; D. Allegro; D. 10 mins each
Two short classical sonatas of surprising stature for ten minute pieces. Both slow movements have grandure and nobility, while the fast movements bounce along with attractive brilliance. I have played the D major Andante espressivo many times, with ever increasing pleasure.

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Piano Sonata Op 2 No 1 in C (Parke)
1. Allegro assai; C major. 2. Andante; C minor. 3. Rondo: Allegro assai; C major. 13 mins
A bold, open version of C major, with plenty of lively turns. The slow movement has a poignant quality and is followed by a simple sunny Rondo.

Vivace Press also publish various keyboard works, including 3 Sonatas.

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