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Emilie Mayer (1812-1883)


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dhibbard
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« on: April 18, 2022, 04:06:06 am »

Emilie Luise Friderica Mayer (14 May 1812,[note 1] Friedland, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – 10 April 1883, Berlin) was a German composer of Romantic music.  Emilie Mayer began her serious compositional study relatively late in life, yet she was a very prolific composer, producing some 8 symphonies and at least 15 concert overtures, plus numerous chamber works and lieder.  She was the Associate Director of the Opera Academy in Berlin.


Emilie Mayer was the third of five children and the eldest daughter of a well-to-do pharmacist, Johann August Friedrich Mayer, and Henrietta Carolina. Her mother died when she was two years old. She received musical education at an early age; her first teacher was an organist, Carl Heinrich Ernst Driver. Even in her first years as a piano student, the young Emilie apparently had an eating disorder, which caused many issues in her compositions.

On 28 August 1840 her life took a sudden turn: Emilie Mayer's father fatally shot himself, 26 years to the day after he buried Emilie's mother.[3]

In 1841, she moved to the regional capital city of Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland), and sought to study composition with Carl Loewe,[4] a central figure of the musical life of the city. Author Marie Silling writes concerning this:[5]

The death of her father caused her first deep sorrow; in order to numb this pain, she buried herself in work. She went to Szczecin and became Loewe's student. After a challenging test he said in his crafty manner: "You actually know nothing and everything at the same time! I shall be the gardener who helps the talent that is still a bud resting within your chest to unfold and become the most beautiful flower!" Emilie always considered it important to be thrifty in her own life but was continually giving to the needs of others. When, for these reasons, she asked Löwe whether she could share the composition lessons with other female pupils, he answered that "such a God-given talent as hers had not been bestowed upon any other person he knew." This statement filled her with the greatest thankfulness throughout her whole life and obliged her to work extremely hard.

After Carl Loewe died in 1869 the Loewe society was formed. Mayer dedicated two of her cello sonatas to members of the society and their families. Her Op. 47 is dedicated to the Baron von Seckendorff from Stargard, and her Op. 40 is dedicated to the sister of composer Martin Plüddemann [de] from Kolberg.

In 1847, after the premiere of her first two symphonies (C minor and E minor) by the Stettin Instrumental Society, she moved to Berlin to continue her compositional studies.[6] Once in Berlin, she studied fugue and double counterpoint with Adolph Bernhard Marx,[6] and instrumentation with Wilhelm Wieprecht.

She began publishing her works (e.g. lieder and chants, op. 5-7, in 1848) and performing in private concerts. Then, on 21 April 1850, Wieprecht led his "Euterpe" orchestra in a concert at the Royal Theatre exclusively presenting compositions by Emilie Mayer. With critical and popular acclaim, she continued composing works for public performance. She travelled to attend performances of her works, including to Cologne, Munich, Lyon, Brussels and Vienna.

Compositional style

Emilie Mayer was initially influenced by the Vienna classic style, whilst her later works were more Romantic.

Mayer's harmonies are characterized by sudden shifts in tonality and the frequent use of seventh chords, with the diminished seventh allowing Mayer to reach a variety of resolutions. One defining characteristic of Mayer's music is a tendency to set up a tonal centre with a dominant seventh, but not resolving to the tonic immediately; sometimes, resolution is skipped altogether.

Her rhythms are often very complex, with several layers interacting at once.
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dhibbard
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2022, 04:07:59 am »

Orchestral Works  (from wiki)

Symphonies

Symphony No. 1 in C Minor (premièred before 4 March 1847)[1]
Symphony No. 2 in E Minor (premièred before 4 March 1847)
Symphony No. 3 in C Major "Military" (premièred 21 April 1850)
Symphony No. 4 in b Minor (premièred 16 March 1851)
Symphony No. 5 in f minor (premièred 1 May 1852)[2] [earlier list contradicted the Worldcat source given in note #2: it is clearly in f-minor.]   presumed lost
Symphony No. 6 in E Major (premièred 25 April 1853)
Symphony No. 7 in f Minor (1855–56; premièred in April 1862)
Symphony No. 8 in F Major (1856–57; premièred in March 1862) – presumed lost

Piano and orchestral

Piano Concerto in B flat Major (1850)
Overtures
Overture (No. 1) in C Minor (early work)
Overture No. 2 in D Major (premièred 21 April 1850)
Overture No. 3 in C Major (premièred 21 April 1850)
Overture (No. 4) in D Minor (premièred 21 April 1850)
Ouverture serieuse (No. 5) (premièred 15 January 1879) – presumed lost
Overture to Faust (No. 6), Op. 46 (1880; premièred in March 1881)
Ouvertura giocosa (No. 7) (premièred in April 1883) – presumed lost
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Santo Neuenwelt
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2022, 06:22:26 pm »

She wrote a huge amount of chamber music, some of which is absolutely first rate and is now beginning to receive attention. Unfortunately, much of it remains in manuscript and has not yet received publication.
FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO
Violin Sonata in F Major, Op. 17
Violin Sonata in A Minor, Op. 18 Recorded on a Feminae CD 
Violin Sonata in E Minor, Op. 19 Recorded on a Feminae CD
Violin Sonata in D Minor, Op. 29
Notturno for Violin and Piano, Op. 48/2 Recorded on a CPO CD
Violin Sonata in D Minor
Violin Sonata in D Major
Violin Sonate in E-flat Major Recorded on a Feminae CD
FOR CELLO AND PIANO
Cello Sonata in D Minor, Op. 38
Cello Sonate in C Major, Op. 40
Cello Sonata in D Major, Op. 47
Cello Sonata in F Major
Cello Sonata in C Major
Cello Sonata in C Minor
Cello Sonata in D Minor
Cello Sonata in E Minor
Cello Sonata in A Major
Cello Sonata in B♭ Major
Cello Sonata in B♭ Major
Cello Sonata in B Minor
PIANO TRIOS
Piano Trio in E Minor, Op. 12
Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 13 Recorded on a CPO CD
Piano Trio in E-flat Major
Piano Trio in E Minor
Piano Trio in A Minor
Piano Trio in B Minor, Op. 16 Recorded on a CPO CD
PIANO QUARTETS
Piano Quartet in E-flat Major Recorded on a CPO CD
Piano Quartet in G Major Recorded on a CPO CD
STRING QUARTETS
String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 14 Recorded on a CPO CD
String Quartet in F Major
String Quartet in D Minor
String Quartet in E Minor
String Quartet in G Major
String Quartet in B♭ Major
String Quartet in A Major
STRING QUINTETS
String Quintet in D Major
String Quintet in D Minor
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2022, 09:30:41 pm »

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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2022, 09:31:51 pm »

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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2022, 10:08:34 pm »

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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2022, 10:09:25 pm »

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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2022, 11:03:11 pm »





The recording of Symphonies No. 4 and No. 6 is planned for 2023.

 The materials for Symphonies No. 5 and No. 8 are unfortunately lost.
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2022, 02:53:33 am »

yet again another release....


   
Sym Number 5
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2022, 06:04:07 pm »

I am very impressed by her symphonies and chamber music, at least what I've heard of them so far. I was anticipating her piano concerto, but when I heard it, I was severely disappointed. Not only did it bring no originality to the genre, it sounded like it could have been composed 50 years earlier.
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2022, 03:22:28 pm »

I am very impressed by her symphonies and chamber music, at least what I've heard of them so far. I was anticipating her piano concerto, but when I heard it, I was severely disappointed. Not only did it bring no originality to the genre, it sounded like it could have been composed 50 years earlier.

I regret to say I can find no logic in that stance, Jim. Would it have been any better or worse a piece if it had been composesd fifty years earlier? Let us suppose that Mendelssohn had lived to be 80 and produced his Violin Concerto in the 1880s instead of the 1840s: would that make it any less beautiful or masterly?   What's more, I can't get my head around the idea that a piece has to demonstrate 'originality' (however you define that) to be worthwhile. A piece of music either appeals to me or it doesn't. All other considerations are, to my mind, irrelevant
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2022, 06:18:36 pm »

I mean, quite literally, that it sounded as if it could have been composed by Beethoven in his early period, or even Mozart. It was more of an homage to the Classical piano concerto than a Romantic composition. From the small orchestral forces used to the, by 1850, reliance on the hackneyed cadential trill to end solos, it was more of a pastiche than a composition.
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2022, 10:26:26 pm »

Oh, I see what you mean. You were disappointed because, given your familiarity with her other works and knowing when it was written, you had certain expectations that just weren't met. That makes sense. I wonder, do you think if you'd heard it in a 'blind tasting', as it were, not knowing who'd written it or when, you might have found it appealing, nevertheless?
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2022, 03:08:34 am »

You hit the nail on the head, precisely. If I didn't know who the composer was, I might have guessed someone like Theresia von Paradis, Mozart's protégé. Just listening to the piano concerto by Clara Schumann for comparison, the Mayer PC is almost atavistic. I would have loved to hear what Fanny Mendelssohn could have brought to the genre.
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2022, 04:43:59 pm »

I am very impressed by her symphonies and chamber music, at least what I've heard of them so far. I was anticipating her piano concerto, but when I heard it, I was severely disappointed. Not only did it bring no originality to the genre, it sounded like it could have been composed 50 years earlier.


Yes  I was too, if I hadn't known, I could have mistaken it for another German composer 50 years earlier... the same motets and predicable conclusion to the various phrases.
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