Divox DI 9205
Farrenc: Nonet, Op. 38; Clarinet Trio, Op. 44 – Consortium Classicum
Jeanne-Louise Farrenc (1804 – 1875) was one of the most outstanding French women composers of the nineteenth century. Though practically unknown today, she belonged to the generation of composers who played a key role in the evolution of musical composition both in the first half of the nineteenth century (Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann) and in the second (Liszt, Wagner, Verdi). Born into an artistic Parisian family, she was already studying with Antoine Reicha at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of fifteen. After quickly earning a solid reputation for her piano pieces and songs, she began to compose orchestral works. She even drew words of praise from her famous colleague Hector Berlioz, albeit double-edged: ‘Well written, and orchestrated with a talent rare among women.’ Despite a number of other successful works, Jeanne-Louise Farrenc was never able to shake off this condescending male evaluation of her talent. It is time for us today to rediscover this exceptional composer.