Luise Adolpha Le Beau: Complete Works For Piano / Markovina

Release Date: 1/25/2011
Label: Genuin
Catalog Number: GEN10177
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
In Stock
$18.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews


LE BEAU 3 Klavierstücke. Original Theme with Variations . Sonata. 8 Preludes. Improvisata . Gavotte. Ballade. 3 Old Dances. Deutscher Reigen. Trauermarsch. Klavierstücke . Barcarole. Abendklaänge Ana-Marija Markovina (pn) GENUIN 10177 (79:48)


We often mourn the great music we have missed because of a handful of composers that died prematurely (Mozart, Schubert) or before a major breakthrough (Wagner). A far greater tragedy was the de facto removal of women from the compositional profession for most of the history of Western music, a state of affairs that has improved radically in recent decades.


Luise Adolphe Le Beau may seem like a mere historical footnote for those not familiar with her music (that included me until recently), but if this disc is any indication, this is one composer whose reappraisal is not happening quickly enough. She wrote in most of the major genres of the day, but not surprisingly it is her piano and chamber works that are getting the first modern glances. More often than not I’m skeptical about these revivals, but this fine recording by Marija Markovina of Le Beau’s complete piano works should spark renewed interest.


Biographical information isn’t easy to come by for the German composer, even with notes that are otherwise substantial. Her primary fame seemed to spring from her concertizing, though her compositions did make a minor splash with other composers of the day (Clara Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, and critic Hanslick) and in at least one contest. The demands on the pianist are significant, though by no means on the same level of virtuosity of Liszt or even Brahms. Some of these bear the hallmarks of parlor pieces, but others are substantial enough to take pride of place on a concert stage. The Improvisata has more meat than the name might imply, with a suggestion of a barcarolle in the rolling melody in triplets. The Ballade has some Chopin in its DNA, but there are also touches of Schumann and Brahms here as well as in most of the other works. The central tune is a thing of beauty, and the bravura final pages are stirring.


Her gift for spinning simple and memorable tunes is nowhere more apparent than in the sweetly pastoral Three Old Dances . The most extended work, Original Theme with Variations, dates from her early years, but the skills seem already fully developed. Here the mark of Schumann is most pronounced, with concentrated, inventive variations that reach well beyond the clichés of the Classical or early Romantic era.


I don’t often highly recommend obscure works beyond a pool of dedicated specialists. Here is a happy exception, a generous helping of engaging piano works performed in captivating style by a perceptive pianist. As a bonus for the collector, this is one recording that is sure to stump any competitors in a game of “guess that composer.”


FANFARE: Michael Cameron
Works on This Recording
1. Pieces (3) for piano, Op. 1 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: circa 1874 ; Germany
2. Theme & Variations for piano in F minor, Op. 3 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: circa 1874 ;
3. Sonata for piano in A minor, Op. 8 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: circa 1875 ; Germany
4. Preludes (8) for piano, Op. 12 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1872 ; Germany
5. Improvisata, for piano, Op. 30 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic
6. Gavotte for piano in F minor, Op. 32 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: circa 1884 ;
7. Ballade for piano in B minor, Op. 47 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1898 ; Germany
8. Danze antiche (3) for piano, Op. 48 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1898 ;
9. Deutscher Reigen, for piano, Op. 49 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic
10. Trauermarsch for piano, Op. 53 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic
11. Nocturne for piano, Op. 57/2 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic
Written: 1903 ; Germany
12. Mazurka for piano, Op. 57/3 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic
Written: 1903 ; Germany
13. Barcarole for piano, Op. 59 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: circa 1904 ; Germany
14. Abendklänge, for piano, Op. 64 by Luise Adolpha Le Beau
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina (Piano)
Period: Romantic
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