Wednesday, February 1, 2012: Queens
This Saturday (Feb 4) at 3 pm you have a date with 17 intelligent, creative, and talented women. They await you at The Atrium in Žižkov.
Who are they?
Fourteen are brilliant composers whose often-overlooked compositions you’ll enjoy getting to know.
The other three are the women who will perform the music: Daniela Demuthová, mezzo-soprano; Žofie Vokálková, flute; and Zbyňka Šolcová, harp. The trio is also known as Musica Dolce Vita.
All three of the musicians have earned their credentials as graduates of the Prague Conservatory and regularly perform, tour, record, and win awards for their music.
Their concert Saturday, dubbed “The Queens of Music,” is divided into several parts, beginning with Early Music and the legendary St Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). She is an early possessor of so many talents and abilities, she makes a “Renaissance Man” look like a slacker. (You can get a clue about her methods by studying the illumination above.)
Her composition will be followed by works from Francesca Caccini (1587-c 1637), Marianne von Martinez (1774-1812), and Barbara Strozzi (1619-1664).
Next in the concert comes an interesting classification: “Compositions by Queens and Noblewomen.” Maria Teresia von Paradis (1759-1824) was a blind pianist who later turned to composing; you may already be familiar with Marie Antoinette. You’ll hear their work here, followed by a piece you may know once you hear it: It’s “Aloha Oe,” the tune often played stereotypically on a ukelele to represent things Hawaiian. You may not know who composed it though: Queen Liliuokalani (1838-1916), the Queen of Hawaii.Then come composers who were members of famous musical families: Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (sister – 1805-1847); Clara Schumann (wife and composer in her own right – 1819-1896); and Alma Mahler (wife – 1879-1964).
This fascinating look at the Queens of Composition continues by giving contemporary Czech composers their due, represented by Milada Červenková (1947) and Sylvie Bodorová (1954).
The program finishes with contributions by French composers Cecile Chaminade (1857-1944) and Pauline Viardot (1821-1910).
The concert can be an entertaining way to get a quick overview of musical styles — and may even inspire you to follow in Hildegard’s footsteps. Watch out for those flames, though … — oo
– Mary Matz