Compact Discoveries®
a series of one-hour radio programs produced, written, hosted, and edited by Fred Flaxman
©2004 by Compact Discoveries, Inc.

Program 67
"Chaminade, Part 1"

MUSIC: Chaminade: Pierrette performed by Eric Parkin, pianist [Chandos CHAN 8888, track 1] [under the following]

Welcome to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide Fred Flaxman, and during the next hour I'm going to play my very latest compact discoveries for you: the music of the French composer Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade.

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Chaminade was born in Paris on August 8th, 1857. She died in Monte Carlo on April 18, 1944, during World War Two.

She was amazingly successful during the early 20th Century. She even had a perfume named after her which was sold with her portrait on it. During the 1890s she developed an international touring career as a pianist who played her own music.

The public loved her in France, England and the United States, where her rarity as a female composer was a distinct advantage. Clubs were set up to promote her music. She wrote a great deal of piano pieces with beautiful melodies which were not too difficult to play, so her sheet music sold well to amateur pianists like yours truly. In fact I discovered her most famous piece when I was a little boy struggling to learn how to play the piano myself. It was called the Scarf Dance.
I'll play two versions of that piece for you now. The first is the way I remember it, played fairly rapidly and lasting just over a minute and a half. The second version is performed much more slowly. Not only that, it has a whole middle section I never heard before recently obtaining this recording from ArkivMusic.com.

The first pianist is Robert Silverman on a Marquis compact disc. The second is Eric Parkin on the Chandos label.

MUSIC: Chaminade Scarf Dance; Robert Silverman, piano [Marquis 77471 82501 2 4, CD 2, track 10]

MUSIC: Chaminade Pas des écharpes, Op. 37; Eric Parkin, piano [Chandos CHAN 8888, track 17]

The Scarf Dance -- Pas des écharpes is the original title in French -- by Cécile Chaminade. We are exploring her tuneful music together on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman.

Next I'd like to share with you her beautiful Trio No. 1 in G Minor, Opus 11, from 1881. Chaminade was only 24 when she wrote this lovely piece. I think it deserves to be rediscovered and become a part of the standard chamber music repertoire. The performance on this ASV digital release is by the Tzigane Piano Trio: Gillian Findlay, violin; Jennie Brown, cello; and Elizabeth Marcus, piano.

MUSIC: Chaminade Trio No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 11 [ASV CD DCA 965, tracks 1-4]

Cécile Chaminade's Trio No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 11. The Tzigane Piano Trio performed on an ASV compact disc made in England. I obtained the CD online from ArkivMusic.com.

You are listening to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman, and in this hour we are exploring the music of the French composer, Cécile Chaminade.
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Although Chaminade is known mostly for her piano pieces and songs -- known, that is, by the few classical music lovers who have heard of her to begin with -- she also composed a ballet, a symphony, a concertino for flute and orchestra and other large-scale works, including the piece we'll listen to next: the Concertstück for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 40. In this Vox recording, Rosario Marciano is the pianist with the Orchstra of Radio Luxembourg conducted by Louis de Froment.

MUSIC: Chaminade: Concertstück for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 40 [Vox CDX 5110, CD 2, track 4]

The Concertstück for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 40 by Cécile Chaminade. Rosario Marciano was the pianist with the Orchstra of Radio Luxembourg conducted by Louis de Froment. This performance was from a two-CD Vox Box set of French piano concertos by Massenet, Roussel, Lalo, Françaix, Pierné, Chaminade and Boieldeieu.

The famous violinist Itzhak Perlman's Greatest Hits, Volume 2, on EMI Classics, includes a song by Chaminade which was transcribed for violin and piano by Fritz Kreisler. It is called Sérénade espagnole -- Spanish Serenade.


MUSIC: Chaminade/Kreisler Sérénade espagnole [EMI Classics CDC 7243 5 56957 2 7, track 10]

Cécile Chaminade's Sérénade espagnole -- Spanish Serenade -- as transcribed for violin and piano by Fritz Kreisler and performed by Itzhak Perlman.

Chaminade wrote so many beautiful piano pieces and songs that I'm really going to have to devote another Compact Discoveries hour exclusively to them. But I have time for one piano piece now. It is called Automne -- Autumn -- and at one time it sold more than 6,000 copies a year. Eric Parkin is the pianist.

MUSIC: Chaminade Automne (No. 2 from Six études de concert, Op. 35); Eric Parkin, piano [Chandos CHAN 8888, track 14]

Automne -- Autumn -- by Cécile Chaminade, performed by Eric Parkin at the piano.

MUSIC: Chaminade: Pierrette performed by Eric Parkin, pianist [Chandos CHAN 8888, track 1] [under the following]

I hope you agree with me that the romantic music of Chaminade deserves to be rediscovered and that these pieces are true compact discoveries! Let me know if you would like to hear more music by this all-but-forgotten French female composer. You can contact me through the Compact Discoveries website: www.compactdiscoveries.com.

The website has short descriptions and complete scripts for each Compact Discoveries program. There are also articles, a list of stations carrying the program, and a section for listener response.

I would like to thank ArkivMusic.com for supplying most of the recordings used in this program.

Compact Discoveries is a registered trademark and production of Compact Discoveries, Inc., and a presentation of WXEL-FM, West Palm Beach, Florida.

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