It is November 22nd – birthday of W F Bach, Benda, Britten and Kapustin among others, and it is St Cecilia’s day, patron saint of music. I’ve written elsewhere about Raphael’s painting of St Cecilia; this post is to celebrate some preludes by women composers.
Firstly, by Clara Schumann, who wrote a set of three Preludes and Fugues Op 16 (above), a Prelude in F Minor, and who also wrote Praeludien which appear online in her own hand – and her own fingering. She also improvised preludes for some of her husband Robert’s Fantasiestücke Op 12; below is the prelude to Des Abends, performed on an historical instrument. For interesting reading, I recommend this excerpt from Anatole Leikin’s book, The Mystery of Chopin’s Preludes, for the background to Clara’s preludes.
Next a prelude by Cécile Chaminade – note the forename –
– and finally a very interesting little piece by Lili Boulanger – a real gem. Worth a listen!