Author Topic: Emilie Mayer  (Read 2256 times)

eschiss1

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Emilie Mayer
« on: Saturday 22 October 2011, 04:01 »
in a thread from a few years ago I notice a question about Emilie Mayer's 5th symphony (of which I was unaware, but there it is, recorded, in F minor in mp3 form at amazon...) and further about her earlier symphonies (a natural enough question then). I see a link to someone's page in which the person is writing about typesetting her 4th symphony, in E major,

here -
don't know how much progress has been made, etc., in the 3 years since that post, but thought I'd point it out maybe...

(oh, I see- not an image- a MIDI, which I didn't see since I didn't notice Quicktime querying me :) nice brief excerpt there of the opening of the transition into the main part of the first movement. On other blog posts on this site there are similar sound files. )
Also, a few of her chamber works in manuscript have been scanned in recently by Stabikat Berlin, I think, and have in turn shown up at IMSLP.
(Ah. This is Roz Trübger's blog-see here in which she mentions giving a talk on August 4 2008 and links to it.)

(Mayer's first is according to another page still in C minor; where this information is from and where the manuscripts are, I have no clue.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Emilie_Mayer claims 6 symphonies, actually (in C minor, C major, E major, F minor , F minor (#5), B minor. Same problem.)

Ok, partial answer, Furore-Verlag reprinted the score of sym.5 in 2005... FLP has her Faust-Overture op.46 in score.
(correction - Roz Trübger's blog)
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eschiss1

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 22 October 2011, 19:25 »
Apparently some of Mayer's symphonies, including the B minor that is said to be the last of them (and dates from the 1850s it's said, not nearly the end of her life) were published during or near her lifetime in reduction, so that already answers partially my question above how one knows anything about them...
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rosflute

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 22 November 2011, 18:32 »
The symphony in E major by Emilie Mayer is published today !  at last ! In an affordable modern edition.
 the study score will be on sale and the conductor's score and orchestral set for hire. A performance of the work is likely to happen in May 2012 .  It's a work distinctly in the classical style with strong leanings towards Beetthoven but it nonetheless has a distinctive quality to it , a sort of 'female touch' that I hear in it and yet have not identified what gives it that quality !  Lots of enharmonic changes. The orchestra includes three trombones and there is a triangle in the last movement - the symphony was written in 1853, the same year that Liszt significantly employed a triangle in his Eb piano concerto. If you like to listen to a bit of it go to this address:
http://soundcloud.com/rosflute/emilie-mayer-sinfonie-in-e-dur




semloh

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #3 on: Friday 09 November 2012, 21:39 »
In view of the exchanges regarding the splendid 4th symphony, I thought it was worth adding to this informative thread from last year, rather than starting a new one. I see that Ms Mayer is duly omitted from standard reference books, and I can only assume that this reflects discrimination based on gender. She doesn't get a guernsey in the 1900 edition of Grove's Dictionary, isn't listed in Brown’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (1886), or mentioned in The Cambridge History of Nineteenth Century Music  (Samson 2002). She seems to be relegated to books devoted specifically to women composers, and the following information is taken from Women Composers: A Biographical Handbook of Woman’s Work in Music (Otto 1902)

Mayer (Emilie). German composer, born at Friedland, Mecklenburg, May 14, 1812 ; died at Berlin  April 10, 1883. A very talented and most prolific writer. Her parents, recognizing her great musical abilities, did all in their power to secure for her an excellent musical education. Her teachers were Carl Löwe, the eminent song writer, and B. A. Marx, the celebrated theorist, and later on Wieprecht in orchestration.

Her progress was so pronounced, and her compositions of such decided merit, that by the advice of her teachers, a concert w as given at Berlin, the program of which, consisting entirely of her own compositions, was as follows : Concert Overture for large orchestra, a String Quartet, the CXVIII Psalm for chorus and orchestra, and two Symphonies (“Militaire” and  “B minor"), as well as two piano solos played by the author. She scored a great success with this concert and the production of her compositions, and as a reward was presented with the Gold Medal of Art, by Queen Elizabeth of Prussia.

Her works consist of several symphonies (the one in B minor has been arranged for 4 hands by A. Jurke, and is published by Bote &, Bock Berlin); two string quartets, two piano quartets (op. 14 in G minor published by Simrock, Berlin), two Quintets, ten Trios for piano, violin and cello (op. 12 in E minor, op.13 in D, op. 15 in B minor, are published by Challier, Berlin), S Sonatas for violin and piano (op. 17 in F, op. 18 in A minor, op. 19 in B minor, op. 21 in A, are published), 7 Sonatas for Cello and piano, several overtures, the aforementioned CXVIII Psalm for chorus and orchestra, about forty four-part songs, and quite a number of songs and piano pieces. Also an operetta “Die Fischerin”.

This is quite an imposing array of compositions for a woman ( ::)). Not all of these works have appeared in print, particularly some of the more pretentious ones are still in manuscript. Of her published works not previously enumerated, the following deserve special mention: Op. 46 Faust overture for grand orchestra; op. 48 a pretty Nocturne for Violin and piano; op. 47 Sonata for Cello and piano; op. 17 Sonata for Violin; op. 13 Trio in D, for Violin, Cello and Piano; op. 21 Sonata for Violin and piano; op. 29 “Allemande fantastique”, the latter a very meritorious work for the piano, full of fire and energy. Also a set of pretty Waltzes, op. 30 and 32.


Gareth Vaughan

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 10 November 2012, 18:54 »
Does anyone know where her MSS are held? And what survives of her unpublished orchestral works?

rosflute

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 11 November 2012, 09:42 »
Hi Gareth
all the manuscripts are held in the Stadtsbibliothek in Berlin - which is a lovely place to spend some time! The archive is pretty complete

Gareth Vaughan

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #6 on: Monday 12 November 2012, 18:27 »
Thanks, Ros. I thought they might be in Berlin. What a house of treasures that place is!

Edward

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #7 on: Friday 07 December 2012, 22:07 »
I was unfamiliar with Mayer, but thanks to good old Youtube search, I found the Symphony #5 is up there .   The music has a nice even flow and is clear.   But as with so many fine composer of that era, she is using more well-known masters as a model.   In this case, I think  Mendelssohn and Schubert are her models.  Is there anything that specifically gave her an individual fingerprint?  I can't pick up on it, and would have to listen to more of her work.  But the problem is  just that...  she needs something that will make her music individual.  In the context of the times she lived in, that would have helped with her becoming more widely known.  I fully understand the anti-woman bias.  But I think she would face the same stylistic issues if she were male.  If she were male, she would be like Felix Draeske  who faced the stylistic issues of being a lot like Liszt and Wagner....

Mark Thomas

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #8 on: Friday 07 December 2012, 22:21 »
Sorry Edward, but I have to take issue on a couple of points here. Certainly Emilie Mayer's sound world in her Fifth (actually it's her Seventh, we now discover from another thread) does owe a debt to an earlier composer, but surely that's Beethoven rather than Schubert or Mendelssohn? Even then, it seems to me that, whilst her orchestration is certainly Beethovenian, her melody and harmony owe no more to him than did that of any other composer of her era and there's where her individuality lies. Listen to the recent radio broadcast of her Fourth Symphony (available in the Downloads board here), which has been newly orchestrated in a rather more robust style, and you will hear her arrestingly individual voice coming through loud and clear.

As for Draeseke being like Liszt and Wagner I honestly don't know where to begin. Of course, he was indeed counted as being of the New German School, but his is one of the most individual voices amongst the unsungs. One of the reasons that he's a tough nut to crack is the very uniqueness of his style.

Alan Howe

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #9 on: Friday 07 December 2012, 23:08 »
Emilie Mayer's starting-point is clearly Beethoven, but it is only a starting-point. In fact she is equally clearly a composer of her time and her use of melody, harmony and rhythm are all entirely typical of the early romantic period. Her (symphonic) music sounds quite unlike Schubert or Mendelssohn: ironically, given her gender, it often sounds rather more robust and masculine than theirs! As to whether she lacks personality, well, I would advocate repeated listening to familiarise oneself with her quite distinctive sound-world.

With regard to Draeseke, Mark is right: where does one begin? He is one of the most easily recognisable unsung composers of the nineteenth century. He may have begun with Liszt and Wagner ringing in his creative ears, but no-one else could have written the Tragica or any other of his mature masterpieces...

My advice (FWIW): stop thinking of unsung composers in terms of their sung contemporaries and try to listen to them on their own terms. And take time - and repeated listenings - to do so.

Edward

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #10 on: Saturday 08 December 2012, 07:44 »
Fair enough.  I do think her music has a surprising masculineness.  That is clear.  But it could be as a result of toughness and resolve owing to her father's suicide.  And... the impact such an event would have on a person...

rosflute

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #11 on: Saturday 08 December 2012, 09:02 »
Edward, is your posting a wind-up or merely deliberately provocative?
I think we have travelled way beyond the idea of music being 'masculine' or 'feminine'. The image of woman as some sort of non-scientific, weak and feeble creature capable only of quaint insignificant thought is surely long out of the window.
and I think the majority of husbands will assure you that toughness and resolve is a feature of most women  :)

Alan Howe

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #12 on: Saturday 08 December 2012, 10:42 »
Let's not get diverted here into masculiness, etc. What I was trying to get at is the bold strength of Mayer's symphonic writing - which seemed to me to be particularly noteworthy and entirely typical of her. She's a woefully neglected figure.

BTW has anyone noted pre-echoes of the scherzo of Bruckner 1 in the scherzo of Mayer's 4th? Or is it just me...?

JimL

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #13 on: Saturday 08 December 2012, 17:08 »
All I can tell you is that I was rather disappointed by the piano concerto.  It may date from 1850, but it sounds like it could have been composed 60 years earlier.  It's more like a pastiche of 18th Century concerto tropes than a full-blooded Romantic-era piano concerto.
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Mark Thomas

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Re: Emilie Mayer
« Reply #14 on: Saturday 08 December 2012, 17:12 »
I do agree that it is not a strong work. The best pieces of hers which I have heard are the Fourth Symphony, the Faust Overture and a couple of the Violin Sonatas.