Three Centuries of Female Composers
Ranging from the 18th century to the music of our time, this collection of critically acclaimed recordings explores the significant contribution to solo piano repertoire made by a wide variety of women composers. These rare and important pieces include the works of the celebrated pianist Anne-Louise Brillon de Jouy and of Hélène de Montgeroult, whose sonatas are distinctive additions to the Classical and early Romantic periods. Maria Szymanowska’s deft dances contrast with the fearsome demands of Teresa Carreño, herself a great virtuoso. Vítězslava Kaprálová was the most important female Czech composer of the 20th century, while Agathe Backer Grøndahl was one of Norway’s most respected composer-pianists. Tanya Ekanayaka continues the lineage in her own diverse and hybrid pieces.
The volumes include:
Carreño: Rêverie & Selected Music for Piano
Szymanowska: Complete Dances for Solo Piano
Kaprálová: Complete Piano Music
Pioneers: Piano Works by Female Composers
Brillon de Jouy: The Piano Sonatas Rediscovered
Ekanayaka: The Planets & Humanity - Piano Reflections
Montgeroult: Complete Piano Sonatas
Backer Grøndahl: Piano Works
French pianist Nicolas Horvath reveals more of the music of Hélène de Montgeroult, the pianist, composer, and teacher whose background influence on such seminal figures as Chopin and Schumann – and quite possibly Brahms – is only now being acknowledged. Horvath makes appealingly light work of her nine keyboard sonatas, several recorded for the first time.
-- BBC Music Magazine
Nicolas Horvath clearly enjoys de Jouy’s work, and delivers readings which are spirited and lyrical, playful and reflective, easing into the minor mode (in which most of the sonatas were composed) as though at the daybreak of Romanticism. In this particular recording, I was struck by the clarity of sound, which made it easier to hear the evenness and responsiveness of Horvath’s touch.
Venezuelan pianist-composer Teresa Carreño had a dramatic, colorful career that is hard to believe. Of the works presented in this fascinating recording, all but one are world premieres. This music has a gentle melancholy. Several of these miniatures have Chopinesque harmonies and perfumes. The album ends on an upbeat note, the composer’s Opus 1, a highly accomplished waltz full of scintillating episodes written for Gottschalk. The latter must have been knocked out by this charmer.
Alexandra Oehler plays with sensitive phrasing and skillful voicing. Her refined musical sensibility is just right for this repertory. The recording, like the music, is warm and inviting.
-- American Record Guide
Release Date: March 04, 2022
Catalog Number: GP897X
Label: Grand Piano
Number of Discs: 10
Composer: Hélène de Montgeroult
Performer: Nicolas Horvath