By Adrienne Fried Block
Amy Marcy Cheney seashore (1867-1944), the main greatly played composer of her iteration, was once the 1st American girl to be triumphant as a author of large-scale artwork tune. Her "Gaelic" Symphony, given its finest by way of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1896, was once the 1st paintings of its style through an American lady to be played via an American orchestra. just about all of her greater than three hundred works have been released quickly once they have been composed and played, and this present day her track is discovering new advocates and audiences for its power, depth, and sheer good looks. but, before, no full-length severe biography of Beach's existence or entire severe evaluation of her song existed. This biography admirably fills that hole, absolutely reading the connections among Beach's lifestyles and paintings in gentle of social currents and dominant ideologies. Born right into a musical relations in Victorian instances, Amy seashore all started composing as a toddler of 4 and used to be both talented as a pianist. Her expertise was once famous early via Boston's major musicians, who gave her unqualified aid. even if seashore believed that the lifetime of a qualified musician used to be the single lifestyles for her, her mom and dad had raised her for marriage and a occupation of beginner music-making. Her reaction to this parental (and later spousal) competition used to be to discover inventive methods of attaining her objective with no direct war of words. Discouraged from a full-scale live performance occupation, she as a substitute stumbled on her m?tier in composition. luck as a composer of paintings songs got here early for seashore: certainly, her songs outsold these of her contemporaries. however, she was resolute to split her paintings from the genteel parlor tune ladies have been writing in her day by means of developing large-scale works--a Mass, a symphony, and chamber music--that challenged the accredited inspiration that ladies have been incapable of making excessive artwork. She received the honor of associates and the allegiance of audiences. many that praised her paintings, despite the fact that, thought of her an exception between ladies. Beach's response to this was once to hitch with different ladies composers of great tune by means of selling their works together with her personal. Adrienne Fried Block has written a biography that takes complete account of problems with gender and musical modernism, contemplating seashore within the contexts of her time and of her composer contemporaries, either female and male. Amy seashore, Passionate Victorian might be of serious curiosity to scholars and students of yankee tune, and to tune enthusiasts more often than not.
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Extra resources for Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian: The Life and Work of an American Composer, 1867-1944
5 He and Abigail Morrison Cheney had three sons, two of whom were illustrious. Oren Burbank Cheney (18 16 — 1903) became a Freewill Baptist minister and was the founcting president of the Maine State Seminary in Lewiston, Maine, where Charles Cheney was a student. The Reverend Cheney remained president after it was renamed Bates College, "the first . . "6 The second son, Person Colby Cheney (1828-1901), first joined his father at the paper mill but then went into his own paper business, fought in the Civil War, and was elected governor of New Hampshire in 1875; in 1892 he served in the administration of President Benjamin Harrison.
J A PRODIGY DESPITE HER MOTHER IT WAS EXCITING TO BE IN BOSTON, a city whose leaders were devoted to the arts and to the city itself as a work of art. Boston used the years following the Great Fire of 1872 not merely to rebuild but to improve, to enhance, to make crooked streets straight, plan for broad avenues and parks, and to decorate with fanciful terra-cotta carvings, ornamental ironwork, and Victorian elaborations in wood. The enormous -work of transforming the mud flats of Back Bay into elegant streets of town houses was on its way.
Uncle Lyman was the receiving teller of the First National Gold Bank and Trust Company, and Aunt Franc was teaching voice and piano. Music making with her aunt and time spent with her four-year-old cousin Ethel were part of Amy's wonderful year. Both cousins were without siblings, and it was the closest Amy came to having a sister. Her five-stanza poem, "Lullaby to My Baby," written while she was in San Francisco, suggests that she enjoyed taking care of Ethel. 33 Perhaps that "blissful year" in San Francisco gave her a taste of a freer and more relaxed—even indulgent—way of living than she had at home.
Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian: The Life and Work of an American Composer, 1867-1944 by Adrienne Fried Block