Laura Dean | Women With a Past

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Recommended if You Like
Cécile Chaminade Dana Suesse Manuel M. Ponce

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United States - Washington

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Classical: Keyboard Music Easy Listening: Nostalgia Moods: Featuring Piano
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Women With a Past

by Laura Dean

Solo piano music featuring lesser known women composers in a variety of styles from classical to jazz inspired gems. A variety of light solo piano music perfect for sampling a little of this and a little of that!
Genre: Classical: Keyboard Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sonata No. 3 in A Major: I. Allegro
5:35 $0.99
2. Nocturne in B-Flat
6:21 $0.99
3. Guitare, Op. 32
4:02 $0.99
4. Hermit Thrush, Op. 92: II. A Hermit Thrush At Morn
5:45 $0.99
5. Three Compositions for the Piano: I. Swamp Bird
2:14 $0.99
6. Three Compositions for the Piano: II. At the Fountain
2:10 $0.99
7. American Nocturne
4:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Recorded and Produced on Yellow House Records October 2015
cover photo by Marika Finkel

Women with a Past celebrates the lives and music of five women composers. The pieces presented here are part of a program that I have been performing for audiences in the Pacific Northwest, Mexico, and Alaska. Those audiences have been delighted to discover these little known piano works. The styles range from an early classical style sonata by Marianna Martines to a jazz infused nocturne from Dana Suesse. It has been an honor to learn about these women and to share their music with live performance and with this recording.

Austrian born composer, singer, and pianist, Marianna von Martines (1744-1812), was known for hosting Saturday salons featuring the who’s who list of leading musicians including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn.

Polish born Maria Szymonowska (1789-1831), the queen of tones, made the piano sing with her expressive playing. Maria, a composer, pianist and teacher, born to working class parents and humble beginnings, was largely self taught. As an adult, she toured Europe giving concerts, solely supporting herself and her three children on her earnings.

Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944) of France, studied piano at an early age with her mother. Her father, a traditionalist, denied her request to study at the Paris Conservatory, however, he did compromise and allow her to study piano, theory, and composition privately. Her more than 300 piano pieces brought her a great deal of commercial success, as fans in Europe, the US, and England purchased her sheet music.

Amy Beach (1867-1944), an American pianist and composer, played the piano at age 4 and published her first composition at age 13! She played with the Boston Symphony and made several other concert appearances before her performing career came to a halt after she married at eighteen. Victorian norms of the day dictated she should defer to the wishes of her husband who allowed her to give only one concert a year for charity. In her 40’s, after the death of her husband, Amy went on to enjoy a prolific music life which included a three-year tour in Europe.

She spent spent many summers as a fellow in residence at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire where she enjoyed spending time in nature. Indeed, much of her music is inspired by nature including The Hermit Thrush at Morn.

Often called the Girl Gershwin, as a child, Dana Suesse (1909-1987), toured the midwest vaudeville circuits with an act centered on dancing and piano playing. During her performances, she would ask the audience for a theme, and then proceed to take that theme, weaving it into something of her own. She and her mother moved to New York in the 20’s where Dana studied piano and composition.

Dana Suesse lived in New York, Paris, and the US Virgin Islands. She enjoyed a successful career as a composer and performer of popular and classical style music.



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