Emilie Mayer (1812-1883), Composer:
Hardly any other composer of her time left behind so comprehensive an oeuvre in as many diverse musical forms as Emilie Mayer. With her composition of a multiplicity of symphonies and overtures, she stands out distinctly from other well-known composers. Yet in addition to those larger works, she created a series of piano and vocal compositions and a considerable number of chamber works, such as the violin sonatas presented in this recording.
The Sonatas op. 18 and 19 are among the most mature of Emilie Mayer’s works. In this respect Albert Tottmann, in his Guide Through The Violin Literature of 1873, judged the sonatas to be: “Very broad ranging, mature, yet formal and masterfully designed compositions, of both fiery melodic and spiritual character, and manly [!] energy as well; of brilliant effect when well performed.” Hermann Zopff, founder of the Berlin Opera Academy, acknowledged the Sonata in A minor as a “Magnificent example of the genre, such as we would hardly have expected from a woman.”
Artist’s Statement by Aleksandra:
I am most excited at this opportunity to share Emilie...
In early 2000, I inadvertently came across the works of several little- known female composers. This discovery inspired me to build a new repertoire on this foundation. I am continually and pleasantly surprised at just how vast the options are in beautiful music written by female composers. Although it’s difficult to make such a broad statement, Emilie Mayer is probably my favorite thus far.
Emilie Mayer is credited with having composed 9 sonatas for violin and piano, only one of which is in print today. With persistence and assistance, I was lucky enough to place my hands (and my bow) on 7 of the sonatas—the remaining 2 have been unfortunately lost. Choosing which of these wonderful works to share first, was not an easy task, but the three sonatas I selected for this recording are each a pure joy in every respect. Beyond the beautiful melodies and harmonies, these works have power, and illustrate Emilie’s deep knowledge of and devotion to her art.
Of course, this is what I see, hear and feel in Emilie’s musical legacy.
It is my sincere hope that you come to love these works as much as I do.