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CHAN 9752
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CHAN 9752

Beach: Piano Quintet

The Classical Shop
release date: September 1999

Recorded in 24 Bit / 44.1Khz

Originally recorded in 1998

Artists:

Ambache



Venue:

St Michaels Church, Highgate, London



Producer:

Rachel Smith



Engineer:

Jonathan Cooper



Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Chamber




Total Time - 63:38
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AMY BEACH

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Piano Quintet in F sharp minor, Op. 67

27:40  
  in fis-Moll - fa dièse mineur  
1 I Adagio - Allegro moderato 9:07
2 II Adagio espressivo 9:23
3 III Allegro agitato - Adagio come prima - Presto 9:02
   
 

Theme and Variations for Flute and String Quartet, Op. 80

20:49  
  in A minor - a-Moll - la mineur  
4 Theme: Lento di molto, sempre espressivo 2:47
5 Variation I: l'istesso tempo 2:38
6 Variation II: Allegro giusto 1:25
7 Variation III: Andantino con morbidezza (quasi valzer lento) 2:10
8 Variation IV: Presto leggiero 0:50
9 Variation V: Largo di molto, con 'grand' espressione 7:08
10 Variation VI: Allegro giocoso 3:48
   
 

Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 150

15:26  
  in A minor - a-Moll - la mineur  
11 I Allegro 4:38
12 II Lento espressivo 5:58
13 III Allegro con brio 4:44
The sparkling Ambache perform three rare works from the female American composer, Amy Beach.

Amy Beach is widely heralded as the first successful American woman composer in the field of serious music, a counterpart and contemporary of Dame Ethel Smyth. The current wealth of available recordings gives a clear indication that her music is once again being re-visited and enjoyed.

The Ambache is a group of between three and thirty musicians specialising in the music of Mozart and his contemporaries and pioneering the revival of music by female composers of the last 250 years. The Ensemble was formed in 1984 by Diana Ambache, one of the few women in Britain to found and direct her own classical chamber orchestra, and performs regularly at the major London venues and festivals. It has toured America and the Far East with appearances on television in Hong Kong and Korea.



Amy Marcy Cheney (Mrs H.H.A. Beach) was born in West Henniker, New Hampshire, but in 1875 the family moved to Boston, and active but rigidly conservative musical centre which became Beach’s focus. From the age of one it became clear that she was unusually musical. At the age of two she was able to sing tunes accurately and soon she was desperately wanting to play the piano. Clara Cheney thought that she must be disciplined in her upbringing and she was only finally allowed to touch the keyboard at the age of four. At this age she could play tunes and harmonise them, she had perfect pitch, and excellent memory and was composing. It was at the age of six that she was allowed to take lessons, but practice time was limited and exclusion from the instrument was used as a punishment.

Amy was mostly educated privately and she taught herself composition by studying the great masters. She first appeared in print at the age of sixteen and for the next twenty-five years, everything she wrote was published soon afterwards. At just over eighteen, she married Dr H.H.A. Beach, which restricted her concert career but broadened her field of composition. She moved away from songs towards larger-scale forms such as her Mass in E flat, Gaelic Symphony and Piano Concerto. After the death of her husband and mother she spent three years in Germany where she continued her studies.

On her return home she embarked upon an energetic concert career which proved to be very successful and in 1930 went to live in New York. Always deeply serious in her musical aims, she conformed to the last. She found the new music of Bartók and Hindemith horrifying but extended her own means to include native North American songs as source material. Well before she died her music was considered old fashioned; afterwards she was neglected, but now we are realising the virtues of her single-minded consistency.



The members of The Ambache meet its demands with technical command and passionate fervour… enjoyable listening from beginning to end.
BBC Music Magazine

…the Ambaches full-blooded performance conveys increasing admiration for this too-long neglected composer.
The Strad ‘Strad Selection’




*****
M Wailes

*****
B Alexander