Home Biographies • Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian: The Life and Work of an by Adrienne Fried Block

Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian: The Life and Work of an by Adrienne Fried Block

By Adrienne Fried Block

Amy Marcy Cheney seashore (1867-1944), the main generally played composer of her new release, was once the 1st American lady to be triumphant as a writer of large-scale paintings track. Her "Gaelic" Symphony, given its leading through the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1896, was once the 1st paintings of its type by way of an American girl to be played by means of an American orchestra. just about all of her greater than three hundred works have been released quickly once they have been composed and played, and at the present time her track is discovering new advocates and audiences for its power, depth, and sheer good looks. but, formerly, no full-length severe biography of Beach's existence or accomplished serious evaluate of her song existed. This biography admirably fills that hole, absolutely studying the connections among Beach's existence and paintings in gentle of social currents and dominant ideologies. Born right into a musical kinfolk in Victorian instances, Amy seashore begun composing as a toddler of 4 and used to be both talented as a pianist. Her expertise was once well-known early by way of Boston's prime musicians, who gave her unqualified help. even supposing seashore believed that the lifetime of a qualified musician was once the single existence for her, her mom and dad had raised her for marriage and a occupation of novice music-making. Her reaction to this parental (and later spousal) competition used to be to discover inventive methods of attaining her objective with no direct war of words. Discouraged from a full-scale live performance profession, she as a substitute chanced on her m?tier in composition. luck as a composer of artwork songs got here early for seashore: certainly, her songs outsold these of her contemporaries. however, she was firm to split her paintings from the genteel parlor song ladies have been writing in her day by means of growing large-scale works--a Mass, a symphony, and chamber music--that challenged the authorised concept that ladies have been incapable of constructing excessive artwork. She gained the honor of affiliates and the allegiance of audiences. many that praised her paintings, even if, thought of her an exception between girls. Beach's response to this used to be to affix with different girls composers of great track by means of selling their works together with her personal. Adrienne Fried Block has written a biography that takes complete account of problems with gender and musical modernism, contemplating seashore within the contexts of her time and of her composer contemporaries, either female and male. Amy seashore, Passionate Victorian might be of serious curiosity to scholars and students of yank song, and to track fans normally.

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Extra resources for Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian: The Life and Work of an American Composer, 1867-1944

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Petersburg, where her beauty and talent made her a favorite of the Russian nobility. Along with Carreno and Clara Schumann, she was considered by one critic to be among the leading female concert artists of the world. On 12 May of that year Essipoff gave an American program, offering works by Arthur Foote, William H. Sherwood, John K. Paine, William Mason, Richard Hoffmann, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and Amy Cheney's teacher Ernst Perabo. It may have been that very evening that Essipoff listened to Amy Cheney play and responded with enthusiastic praise for the eleven-year-old's private performance.

2 As helpful as the move was to Clara Cheney, it was even more so for her daughter. Soon Amy would be embraced by Boston but in ways that her mother could not have predicted. The first step toward recognition of the child's musical endowments grew out of a search for a new piano teacher. Clara Cheney had decided that her daughter, who had just turned eight, had outgrown her tutelage on the piano. 1 22 * AMY BEACH, PASSIONATE VICTORIAN cians. 3 Their appraisal was both a recognition of the child's outstanding talent and a compliment to her mother's training.

37 After her return from San Francisco, the Cheneys rented quarters at i Hancock Street and the following year at 2 I Pemberton Square, both in Boston. 38 Nearby, A PRODIGY DESPITE HER MOTHER • 2/ at 16 Pemberton, was the Harvard Musical Association, headed by John Sullivan Dwight, for years the leading music critic and journalist in the United States. This may have been the time when Amy Cheney played for Dwight and his friend Otto Dresel, a German immigrant musician. Both men had a strong antipathy to the music of Brahms.

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