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Marie Jaëll the Pianist

Donald Macleod delves into the life and music of the piano prodigy Marie Jaëll.

Donald Macleod delves into the life and career of the piano prodigy Marie Jaëll

For the first time in the history of Composer of the Week, Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Marie Jaëll [1846-1925]. Jaëll was a piano prodigy, a composer across a wide spectrum of genres including opera and chamber music, and a revolutionary when it came to the art of teaching and playing the piano. She knew many distinguished musicians including Liszt, Saint-Saëns, César Franck, Brahms, Fauré and Rossini, but hers is a name which has been largely forgotten. Donald Macleod this week uncovers Jaëll's music, and tells her story.

Marie Jaëll took to the piano as a young girl, giving public concerts from the age of nine. One reviewer compared her to Clara Schumann, and her reputation was such that she toured Europe and performed for Queen Victoria. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire from the age of sixteen, and by 1866, had met and married the virtuoso pianist Alfred Jaëll. Husband and wife embarked on a programme of touring as pianists, and Marie would go on to collaborate with the piano manufacturer Pleyel, to promote their instruments. In 1894, Marie Jaëll turned her back on the concert platform, to focus more on developing her method of playing the piano.

Aube (Promenade matinale, esquisses pour piano)
Cora Irsen, piano

Dans le doute; Essaim de mouches; Entrainement (Promenade matinale, esquisses pour piano)
Cora Irsen, piano

Folies d’ours (La Légende des ours)
Chantal Santon-Jeffery, soprano
Brussels Philharmonic
Hervé Niquet, director

Piano Concerto No 1 in D minor
Romain Descharmes, piano
Orchestre national de Lille
Joseph Swensen, director

Reflets Chantants (Prisme. Problèmes en musique)
Cora Irsen, piano

Produced by Luke Whitlock, for BBC Wales

59 minutes

Last on

Mon 31 Aug 2020 12:00

Music Played

  • Marie Jaëll

    Promenade matinale, esquisses for piano (Aube)

    Performer: Cora Irsen.
    • WDR VKJK1607.
    • WDR.
    • 4.
  • Marie Jaëll

    Promenade matinale, esquisses for piano (excerpts)

    Performer: Cora Irsen.
    • WDR VKJK1607.
    • WDR.
    • 3.
  • Marie Jaëll

    La legende des ours (Folies d'ours)

    Orchestra: Brussels Philharmonic. Director: Hervé Niquet.
    • Ediciones Singulares ES1022.
    • Ediciones Singulares.
    • 1.
  • Marie Jaëll

    Piano Concerto No 1 in D minor

    Performer: Romain Descharmes. Orchestra: Orchestre National de Lille. Conductor: Joseph Swensen.
    • Ediciones Singulares ES1022.
    • Ediciones Singulares.
    • 5.
  • Marie Jaëll

    Prisme I & II: Problemes en musique (Reflets chantants)

    Performer: Cora Irsen.
    • WDR VKJK1607.
    • WDR.
    • 10.

Broadcast

  • Mon 31 Aug 2020 12:00

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