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 commonly played composer of her iteration, was once the 1st American lady to prevail as a author of large-scale artwork track. Her "Gaelic" Symphony, given its most well known by way of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1896, was once the 1st paintings of its sort through an American girl to be played via 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 this day her song is discovering new advocates and audiences for its strength, depth, and sheer good looks. but, earlier, no full-length serious biography of Beach's lifestyles or accomplished serious evaluate of her tune existed. This biography admirably fills that hole, absolutely analyzing the connections among Beach's existence and paintings in mild of social currents and dominant ideologies. Born right into a musical kinfolk in Victorian occasions, Amy seashore begun composing as a toddler of 4 and was once both talented as a pianist. Her expertise used to be well-known early through Boston's prime musicians, who gave her unqualified help. even though seashore believed that the lifetime of a certified musician used to be the one lifestyles for her, her mom and dad had raised her for marriage and a profession of beginner music-making. Her reaction to this parental (and later spousal) competition used to be to discover inventive methods of achieving her objective with out direct war of words. Discouraged from a full-scale live performance profession, she as a substitute came upon 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 girls have been writing in her day through developing large-scale works--a Mass, a symphony, and chamber music--that challenged the permitted concept that ladies have been incapable of making excessive artwork. She gained the honour of comrades and the allegiance of audiences. many that praised her paintings, in spite of the fact that, thought of her an exception between ladies. Beach's response to this used to be to hitch with different girls composers of great song through selling their works 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 could be of significant curiosity to scholars and students of yank track, and to song enthusiasts commonly.

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

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

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When the debut took place on 24 October 1883, it was the high point of an eventful year in which her first composition was published. At her debut she was a month past her sixteenth birthday. "57 It was a very rainy Wednesday night; nevertheless the hall was well filled. Boston had come to hear a homegrown prodigy play two major works, Moscheles's Concerto No. 2 in G minor and Chopin's Rondo in El, op. 16, works that would allow the critics to take her measure as a pianist and an artist. This was not the sort of solo debut recital that became the rule in the twentieth century.

This statement resonates with latenineteenth century concern about the health of girls. Physicians warned that females were delicate and prone to disease, especially beginning at puberty. 9 To nineteenth-century eyes, talent and intellectual interests in a girl were cause for alarm; no exertions should be allowed to divert essential energy from a female's most important physical function—one that could easily destabilize her entire life — that of sexual maturation. 10 If that were true for normal girls, what then were the risks for a gifted child who, moreover, was intensely emotional?

She was studying hard . . at the time and our club •was one of her few relaxations. "44 If "exceptional girls [like Amy Cheney] need exceptional companions,"45 then this was the closest she came to such associations. Nevertheless, while there was much that Amy could share with her sisters of the Attic Club, she may have been unique among them in wanting a professional career. Her autograph album offered a way to move close to figures in public life. One of the most influential of those figures was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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