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Celebrating
two hundred and fifty years
of music by women
Marianne Martinez (1744-1812)

portrait by Anton von Maron Martinez was born and lived in Vienna at the time of the great classical composers. The young Haydn was given board and lodging in their house for three years in exchange for teaching Marianne keyboard and composition. Family friend and court poet Pietro Metastasio supervised her education and clearly developed her talent in an unusual way for the time. She wrote over 200 works including a symphony, concertos, a large oratorio, masses, and numerous keyboard and vocal works. In her fifties she founded a singing school; she also ran musical soirees which attracted all the major artists of Vienna. The lucky woman apparently teamed up with Mozart to perform his four handed piano sonatas! Her music is open hearted, sprightly and elegant.

Click on these works for more details below: You can download and hear the start of the third movement of the Symphony in C by clicking here. For general information about playing our sound clips, click here and return via your browser's Back button.


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Piano Concerto in A
1. Allegro con spirito, A major. 2. Andante con comodo, D major. 3. Allegro assai, A major
2 fl, 2 hn, strings, solo piano. 16 mins
Conciseness and energy are Martinez's hall marks for her fast movements. The sudden plunge into a harmonically unexpected world dispels any expectation of polite, early classical decorum. Her keyboard writing is reminiscent of Haydn in athletic mode. The Andante is more expansive and there is a lively, witty Finale. I gave the UK premiere with my Orchestra, The Ambache, in 1997 to a warmly appreciative audience.
Published by Furore Verlag, Johannesstr 3, 3500 Kassel, Germany (tel 0561 26803)


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Piano Concerto in C
1. Allegro, C major. 2. Andante, F major. 3. Allegro, C major
2 fl or ob, 2 hn, strings, solo piano. 15 mins
Another energetic piece, full of joie de vivre.
Published by P.J.Tonger, Koln - Rodenkirchen, Germany


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Symphony in C. 1770
2 fl, 2 ob, 2 hn, strings. 13 mins
This is the only known classical symphony written by a woman. She wrote it aged 26, and it is in light tuneful Viennese style. The first movement has a no-nonsense character, full of rhythmic vitality and spiced up with imaginative use of different phrase lengths. Flowing flute lines pervade the slow movement, while the Finale is a spirited dance in 3/8 with energetic leaps. This is music which expresses great enjoyment in life. We gave the UK premiere in 1995 to an appreciative crowd.
Published by P.J.Tonger, Koln - Rodenkirchen, Germany


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Sonata da cimbalo, G dur. 1769 1. Allegro brillante, G major. 2. Andante, G minor. 3. Allegro assai, G major. 15 mins
In 1772 Charles Burney passed through Vienna on one of his musical tours and reported meeting Martinez, and he heard her sing and play. "Her performance indeed surpassed all that I had been made to expect. She sung two aria of her own composition, to words of Metastasio, which she accompanied on the harpsichord, in a very judicious and masterly manner; and in playing the ritornels, I could discover a very brilliant finger. Her voice and manner of singing both delighted and astonished me! After these two songs she played a very difficult lesson of her own composition, on the harpsichord, with great rapidity and precision." We don't know the piece she played, though 'a very brilliant finger' is needed to play this Sonata!
Published by Furore Verlag (nr148), Kassel, Germany


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Oratorio Isacco, Figura del Redentore, 1781
Libretto by Metastasio. Abramo (bar), Isacco (sop), Sara (sop), Gamari (ten), Angelo (sop); chorus;
2 fl, 2 ob, 2 bn, 2 hn, 2 tpt, timps, strings
Overture: Allegro Maestoso. Andante. Allegro con spirito



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