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Classical Composers (F-G)

Classical music (and some jazz and folk) from Leonarda
Includes many American composers and works by women



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Elisenda Fábregas (b.1955), composer, pianist and teacher, was born in Terrasa, Barcelona. She earned a doctor of musical arts degree from the Barcelona Conservatory and has been living in the U.S. since 1978, when a postdoctoral Fulbright grant brought her to the Juilliard School. She earned another doctorate in music at Columbia University, and began composing in 1985, working with several dance companies and choreographers in New York City, including Jerome Robbins, Hector Zaraspe, Janet Soares, Anna Sokolow and the Maria the Benitez Spanish Dance Company. Her works have been commissioned and performed by numerous groups and soloists, including the Dale Warland Singers, Orchestra of Santa Fe and the Texas Music Teachers Association. Fábregas received the Shepherd distinguished Composer of the Year Award for 2001 from the Music Teachers National Association in Washington, D.C. Her music has been heard throughout the U.S. and in Mexico, Canada, Spain, Germany, The Czech Republic, Taiwan, Japan and China. Five Songs for Soprano and Piano (voice and piano). Audio sample La Luna Negra mp3, and Clamor  mp3, both from Leonarda CD #LE352.

Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) (Spain) Danse du Meunier (Dance of the Miller) (solo piano), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE344.

Giles Farnaby (c.1563-1640) was a "joyner and musician" (a woodworker, composer and music teacher) who earned a Bachelor of Music from Oxford in 1592. More than fifty of his pieces are included in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, a major collection of English keyboard music. Farnaby's piece Tower Hill was included on this recording because it refers to the infamous prison where Anne Boleyn was held prisoner earlier. It is performed on two lutes instead of keyboard in this recording. Tower Hill (two lutes), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE340.

Richard Farnaby (b c.1594-?) was Giles Farnaby's son. Less is known about Richard, but four of his pieces are in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. Nobody's Gigge (two lutes), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE 340.

Louise Dumont Farrenc (1804-1875) was a prolific composer whose music was performed and acclaimed during her lifetime. She combined many roles: composer, virtuosic pianist, eminent teacher, wife and mother, and researcher and editor of outstanding achievement. In addition to producing a substantial catalog of works for piano, chamber groups, and orchestra, Louise Farrenc was Professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatoire for over thirty years. Her compositions were praised by Berlioz and Schumann, among others. As a pianist, she was often heard in the elite salons of the French capital. Most of Farrenc's chamber music was written in the 1840's and 50's, and includes four trios, two piano quintets, a cello sonata, two violin sonatas, a sextet, and a nonet. Trio in E Minor, Op. 45 (flute or violin, cello, piano) is on Leonarda cassette #LE304cs. Scherzo from the same trio and Finale from Nonetto, Op. 38 are on  #double CD #LE353, which can be used in conjunction with the book Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found. Audio sample from trio mp3; from nonet: mp3.

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) Pavane (arr. for flute and piano) is on Leonarda CD #LE333. Morceau de Concours (audio sample mp3) and Piéce (flute and piano) are on Leonarda CD #LE355.

Arthur Foote (1853-1937), a graduate of Harvard University, was one of a group of Boston-area composers active at the turn of the century that included Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, George Chadwick, Horatio Parker, and Arthur Whiting. Foote studied composition with John Knowles Paine at Harvard University beginning in 1870. It was his organ studies with B. J. Lang, however, that persuaded him to abandon law in favor of a career in music, and in 1875 he received the first master's degree in music awarded by an American university. Following his graduation, Foote served as organist at the First Unitarian Church in Boston for several years and performed often as a pianist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Kneisel String Quartet. He later taught privately and at the New England Conservatory, and was active in the Music Teachers National Association and the American Guild of Organists, of which he was a founding member. Three pieces, originally for piano, were arranged for flute, cello and piano by Rheta Smith. They include Arthur Foote's Poem, Op. 41, #1, (audio sample: mp3); Oriental Dance, Op. 73, #6 and Flying Cloud, Op. 73, #4 . Leonarda CD #LE325

Don Freund (20th c.) (USA) Triomusic (violin, clarinet, piano): Leonarda LP #LPI 122.

Katherine Freiberger (b. 1927) holds degrees in piano from SMU and English literature from the University of Texas at Austin. She maintained a private piano studio in Dallas, Texas for 25 years, where a number of her contest pieces for ten piano teams of the Dallas Music Teachers Association were chosen for the Federation of Music Clubs lists. Her compositions include piano, vocal and choral works, often utilizing flute, oboe or marimba. Ms. Freiberger received the Elizabeth Matthias Award for Professional Achievement from Mu Phi Epsilon and won a First Prize in Mu Phi's International Composition Contest for her setting of the "The Coffee-Pot Face" poems by Colorado poet Aileen Fisher. "Winter Applies," set to poems by Charlie Langdon, another Colorado poet, was premiered in 2004 at Trinity University in San Antonio, Ms. Freiberger divides her time between Durango, CO and Dallas, TX. The Coffee-Pot Songs (soprano and piano) and Winter Apples (two sopranos, oboe, piano) mp3 sample from Leonarda CD #LE357.

Kay Gardner (1941-2002), a self-taught composer, was at the forefront of composers creating lyrical, improvisational, and experimental music designed for meditation, relaxation, and healing. A pioneer in the current movement to revive the ancient art of healing through music, color, sound and light, Gardner toured internationally presenting solo concerts and intensive workshops on music and healing. From 1975 through 1987 (this CD's release date), five albums of her works were released on several independent, women-owned labels. Selections from these recordings have been broadcast internationally and have been included in films and videos produced in England, Australia, New Zealand, and in the United States for WGBH television's nationally televised NOVA series. Gardner received awards from ASCAP, the Astrea Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Money for Women Fund, Meet the Composer, and the Maine Composers Festival. Rainforest (chamber orchestra). Audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE327.

Mordekhai Gebirtig (1877-1942), Yiddish folk poet, was born in Krakow, Poland. Although his family was poor and he had no formal music studies, he taught himself to play the shepherd's flute. Gebirtig had access to many cultural activities, especially through the Jewish working people's cultural circles, which he joined as a youth. He soon began writing poetry and songs, and his first book of poems was published in 1920. He worked in his brother-in-law's furniture store, and served in the Austro-Hungarian army in World War I. Gebirtig sang many of his songs himself. Many were so popular that they were performed by street musicians throughout Poland. In 1936 his friends published his poetry in a volume entitled Mayne Lider (My Songs). Gebirtig continued to write and compose in the Krakow ghetto after the fall of Poland, but was shot by the Germans on June 4, 1942. Es Brent, written in 1938, was Gebirtig's response to a pogrom in the Polish town of Przytik. A Jew who killed one of his attackers was later condemned at a trial. Es Brent (baritone and piano), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE342.

George Gershwin (1896-1937) Rhapsody in Blue (abbreviated version for solo piano), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE344.

Miriam Gideon (1906-1996) was born in Greeley, Colorado and grew up in Boston. She began composing in her early teens and studied piano and theory in New York. Gideon earned a BA at Boston University, a Masters in Musicology from Columbia University, and a DSM in Composition from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Her teachers included Lazare Saminsky and Roger Sessions. Gideon taught at Brooklyn College, City College of CUNY in New York, the Manhattan School of Music and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She was named to the American Academy-Institute of Arts and Letters. Vocal music constitutes over half of her total output. Like all of her vocal music, the piece heard here is concerned first with text declamation. Rogez (voice and piano), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE338.

Hirsh Glik / Glick (1920-1944) (words) was born in Vilna (Vilnius, Lithuania). His father was a used clothes dealer. Hirshke (his nickname) began writing poetry at the age of 13, and was cofounder of a group of young poets. He had to end his studies prematurely due to his family's poverty, and became an apprentice in a paper business and later worked in a hardware store. When the Germans occupied Vilna in 1941, Glik was caught and sent to prison, then to a camp in a swamp where the prisoners carried turf, a job usually reserved for horses. When the camp closed, he was sent back to the Vilna ghetto, where he worked with the underground movement FPO (United Partisans) and was active in the literary artistic circle. In September, 1943, the Germans sent Glik to the first of several Estonian concentration camps, where most of the prisoners died from appalling conditions. Glik never ceased writing poems. In 1944 he escaped when the Russians were closing in and tried to join the partisans, but disappeared, probably executed by soldiers in the area.
   
Often deprived of pencil and paper, fellow prisoners memorized his poems and passed them down. Other poems were hidden by friends. Some were found buried in the Vilna ghetto. Most of his works are presumed lost. Shtil, di nakht iz oysgeshternt, also known as Partisanerlid, recounts the heroic deeds of Vitke Kempner, the female resistance fighter who participated in blowing up a train carrying 200 German soldiers, the first successful diversionary sabotage act of the Jewish partisans of Vilna. Shtil, di nakht iz oysgeshternt (mezzo-soprano, piano), audio sample mp3 (:40); Zog Nit Keynmol, inspired by news of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, became a widely popular resistance hymn. Zog Nit Keynmol (chamber singers, piano), audio sample mp3. Both works are on Leonarda CD #LE342.

Sir Eugene Goossens (1893-1962) came from an English musical family of Belgian descent. Early in his career he served as a violinist with the Queen's Hall Orchestra and the Philharmonic String Quartet before establishing his reputation as a conductor and composer. In 1923 Goossens was appointed conductor of the Rochester (New York) Philharmonic, and in 1931 he became Reiner's successor as conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Goossens was engaged as director of the New South Wales Conservatorium and as conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1947, positions he retained until his permanent return to England in 1956. Five Impressions of a Holiday, Op. 7 (flute, cello, piano). Audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE325.

Enrique Granados (1867-1916) studied piano at the Barcelona Conservatory, winning first prize in 1883. He studied composition at the Madrid Conservatory from 1884-1887, supporting himself for awhile by playing piano in restaurants and giving concerts. Granados conducted a series of concerts in Barcelona and also established a music school. He is is best known for his successful piano pieces, although he also wrote several operas as well as symphonic works and chamber and solo music. He attended a successful premiere of opera Goyescas at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1916, and died on his return trip to Europe, victim of a German submarine. The Maiden and the Nightingale (solo piano), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE344.

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (solo piano), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE344.

Agathe Backer-Grøndahl (1847-1907), see under Backer-Grøndahl.



 

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