Edna Stern – Helene de Montgeroult (2017) [FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

Edna Stern – Hélène de Montgeroult (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 53:20 minutes | 844 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Orchid Classics

The rediscovery of Hélène de Montgeroult’s music, notably her Complete course for the instruction of the pianoforte (more than 700 pages, including 114 Etudes, varied themes, fugues, and a fantasy), which can be found in several of the world’s great public libraries, brings to mind Georges Perec’s short story The Winter’s Journey, in which a young man unearths a long-forgotten book that seems to anticipate Symbolist poetry avant la lettre, a book of “plagiarism by anticipation” that will vanish for good later in the story. The difference is that today, Hélène de Montgeroult’s work, still extant, is asserting itself as the missing link between Mozart and Chopin. Her personality, doubtless too modern for her contemporaries – who struggled to understand her audacious chord progressions and her rich and complex polyphony – now sheds light on the French music of the nineteenth century prior to Berlioz, as it touches listeners who are now familiar with the language of Romanticism. She sunk into oblivion soon after her death. However, it is hard to imagine any of the great Romantics (Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, even Brahms) not having studied the piano on the basis of her method, who was popular at the time and was graced with a fourth reprint in Germany around 1830. And indeed, who would not think, for example, of Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude” (Op.10/12) while listening to Montgeroult’s Etude No.107 …

„The story goes that, as an aristocrat in revolutionary Paris, Hélène de Montgeroult was hauled before the Committee of Public Safety but saved herself by sitting at the piano and making up some impressive variations on La Marseillaise. Whether or not that’s true, it’s baffling that she has been forgotten. The first female teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, she was also, as Jérôme Dorival’s research has revealed, a prolific composer whose music was often startlingly ahead of its time. Her Ninth Sonata plus 12 of her many Études and some imaginative variations are played here with warmth and poise by Edna Stern on a historic Pleyel piano. The Études encompass rigorous counterpoint and rhapsodic invention, sometimes simultaneously: No 37 is like Bach’s C major Prelude reimagined by Schumann. And Chopin’s C minor Étude sounds less Revolutio’ary after you’ve heard de Montgeroult’s swirling Étude No 107, which anticipates it by 20-odd years.“ (Guardian)

“a strikingly individual musical personality. Twelve beguiling studies, a fine “Thème varié dans le genre moderne” and a far from staid F minor fugue complete Stern’s revealing and affectionate recital, given on a silvery 1860 Pleyel.” (Sunday Times)

„When you listen to Edna Stern’s moreish disc of Montgeroult’s music, it’s impossible not to wonder exactly why she’s been so neglected. Here is a richly imaginative creative mind, as steeped in the contrapuntal glories of JS Bach as, say, Mendelssohn, yet anticipating Chopin…Stern…trumps Bruno Robilliard and Nicolas Stavy’s recordings for colour, style and panache. Textures shimmer in the Etude No. 37, the melody speaks eloquently in No. 26 and in the D minor Op. 107, the shades of Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude are made obvious.“ (BBC Music Magazine)

Tracklist:
01. Piano Sonata No. 9 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 5 No. 3: I. Allegro spiritoso
02. Piano Sonata No. 9 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 5 No. 3: II. Adagio non troppo
03. Piano Sonata No. 9 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 5 No. 3: III. Presto
04. Fugue No. 1 in F Minor: Fugue No. 1 in F Minor
05. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 7 in E Minor
06. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 17 in E-Flat Major
07. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 19 in F Major
08. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 37 in G Major
09. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 26 in G Major
10. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 28 in E Major
11. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 55 in F Minor
12. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 65 in E-Flat Minor
13. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 66 in C Minor
14. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 104 in G-Sharp Minor
15. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 106 in E Major
16. Cours complet pour l’enseignement du forté-piano: Etude No. 107 in D Minor
17. Thème Varié dans le genre moderne: Thème Varié dans le genre moderne

Personnel:
Edna Stern, piano

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