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The Flatterer: Piano Music of Cécile Chaminade / Joanne Polk, piano

Album Summary

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : La Lisonjera (The Flatterer), for piano, Op. 50
>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Etude Mélodique, for piano in G flat major, Op. 118
>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Etude Romantique, for piano, Op. 132
>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Sonata for piano in C minor, Op. 21
>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Etude Pathétique, for piano in B major, Op. 124
>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Étude Symphonique, for piano, Op. 28
>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Études de concert, Op. 35
>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Les Sylvains (The Fauns), for piano, Op. 60
>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Autrefois, for piano, Op. 87/4
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Joanne Polk, noted pianist and champion of female composers, makes her Steinway label debut with an irresistible collection of Cécile Chaminade's piano works. Recorded by Grammy-winning producer Steven Epstein, the album celebrates an underrated composer whose music deserves a wide audience. Coming of age in Paris in the second half of the19th c., Chaminade's major models were Berlioz, Meyerbeer, Gounod, Bizet and Franck - all renowned composers of serious Romantic music. When she reached her own compositional maturity in the 1880s, she made her first mark writing in genres associated with these recognized masters. Yet her true voice emerged later, with smaller character pieces for piano. Her so-called "salon" pieces are the same kind of short works that Brahms and Chopin made popular - many are true virtuoso works, equal in technical difficulty to any of the concert etudes of Chopin or Liszt. Based on this small collection of Chaminade's music, one can only wonder why she has had to wait so long to be admitted to the pantheon of great French Romantic composers.

American Record Guide, January/February 2015
Polk plays a selection from Op. 28 (1884) to Op. 132 (1909) - a span of 25 years. Perhaps Chaminade's most prolific and best-known genre was the character piece - much along the same lines as Chopin, Schumann, and Brahms. This disc's title work and two others complete this collection. Polk's 2-disc set of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel piano music was quite favorably reviewed (Newport 60180, Nov/Dec 2010). She has been an advocate of female composers for nearly 30 years. Her recordings of Amy Beach on Arabesque were also favorably reviewed in these pages (Nov/Dec 1997, July/Aug 1998, Mar/Apr 1999, July/Aug 2000). This is her first CD for the Steinway label, and it is up to the high standards I have come to expect: superior sound, excellent booklet, repertoire a little outside of the mainstream, and of course, brilliant pianism. The Piano Sonata is a wonderful composition, inventive and well-constructed to be sure, but a solid and satisfying romantic piano work. Polk, based on her performance here, would be completely at home with any of the piano sonatas by the great romantic composers. Her technique and interpretive abilities bring Chaminade's sonata to life in 17 pleasant minutes. It should be heard far more often. The Etudes display a wide range of piano techniques and are akin to the concert-level etudes by Chopin and Liszt. Chaminade was a melodist as well as an excellent pianist, and that's what sets her etudes above most. The character pieces lighten the mood effectively and round off this exceptional program.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, (01/06/2014-01/08/2014).



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Works Details

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : La Lisonjera (The Flatterer), for piano, Op. 50
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Etude Mélodique, for piano in G flat major, Op. 118
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Etude Romantique, for piano, Op. 132
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Sonata for piano in C minor, Op. 21
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1895

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Etude Pathétique, for piano in B major, Op. 124
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Étude Symphonique, for piano, Op. 28
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1890

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Études de concert, Op. 35 :: no 1. Scherzo
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: circa 1885

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Études de concert, Op. 35 :: no 2. Automne
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: circa 1885

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Études de concert, Op. 35 :: no 3. Fileuse (Spinner)
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: circa 1885

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Études de concert, Op. 35 :: no 4. Impromptu
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 4 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: circa 1885

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Les Sylvains (The Fauns), for piano, Op. 60
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1892

>Chaminade, Cécile L. : Autrefois, for piano, Op. 87/4
  • Performer: Joanne Polk (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, Purchase College, State University of New York (01/06/2014-01/08/2014)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic