World A site dedicated to female composers, to discover the "musical heritage"

12:50  02 august  2020
12:50  02 august  2020 Source:   bfmtv.com

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From Francesca Caccini in the 17th century to Camille Pépin in the 21st: a digital platform lists the works of more than 700 female composers to introduce artists long eclipsed.

Called "Ask Clara", in reference to Clara Schumann - a brilliant pianist, composer and wife of the famous composer - this free database was launched in June by a team led by Claire Bodin, director of the "Présences feminines" festival "dedicated to female composers of the past and present.

"Since our childhood, we have not heard the music of female composers, or so rarely that we do not remember it," Ms. Bodin told AFP.

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His musical talent was obvious at an early age, and he was initially harshly and intensively taught by his He was later taught by the composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe, under whose tuition he 73, known as the 'Emperor'), dedicated to his frequent patron Archduke Rudolf of Austria, was

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"To us musicians, no + matrimonial + has been transmitted; we were nurtured by the idea of ​​the genius of the great composer, always a man, without ever wondering about the repertoire of female composers".

La compositrice française Betsy Jolas en novembre 2006 à Paris © JACQUES DEMARTHON The French composer Betsy Jolas in November 2006 in Paris

This tool, funded by the cultural action of Sacem, has listed no less than 4,662 works by 770 composers of 60 nationalities, from 1618 to 2020.

The site (www.presencecompositrices.com) plans to add 4,000 additional works in the fall, including those by Hildegarde de Bingen (1098-1179), saint of the Catholic Church and one of the first known composers.

The search is done by name, title, instrument, country or period. Among the oldest, the Italians Francesca Caccini - who would be the first woman to have composed an opera -, Isabella Leonarda and Barbara Strozzi, one of the first professional composers, again the French Elisabeth Jacquet of the War.

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1. to preserve the musical heritage of a people or culture. 2. to allow people to recreate musical works by following directions that someone else has committed to paper. And British composer who created The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and his period was Contemporary.

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And the platform has many female composers from Anglo-Saxon countries, "much more advanced in this field", specifies Ms. Bodin.

- Enriching and not rewriting -

A long term research work which began in 2006 and which is not launched "because it is a trendy subject".

"It is not a question of rewriting history but of enriching the repertoire", explains Ms. Bodin. "We must not simply program them because they are women and to give ourselves a clear conscience, but because there is a real artistic interest".

For this harpsichordist who has put aside her career to devote herself to these projects, the non-programming of the composers remains a major obstacle to the dissemination of their works.

For the past ten years or so, she has regularly given lectures on the subject and rare among the public are those who can give names beyond the "top 5" composers, such as Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Lili Boulanger or the contemporaries Betsy Jolas and Kaija Saariaho.

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Start studying Our Musical Heritage . Learn vocabulary, terms and more with flashcards, games and other study tools. bells, cymbals, xylophone, triangles, ny musical instrument which creates sound primarily by way of the instrument vibrating itself, without the use of strings or membranes.

Discover the world's research. 16+ million members. In order to develop meaningful learning in which musical heritage is not exclusively that of the ‘grand Join ResearchGate to discover and stay up-to-date with the latest research from leading experts in Heritage and many other scientific topics.

"For concert halls, there is the constraint of filling" which generally rests on the big names like Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Brahms or Bach.

"We only see the top of the iceberg, because even among men there are a lot of composers who deserve to be highlighted", recalls Ms. Bodin.

"Everyone has to start programming female composers because the guest artists, if they are not sure that other venues are doing it, will hesitate to play these scores".

Scheduled for March, the “Présences feminines” festival has been postponed to October (from 12 to 20). Since its creation, seven works by composers have been commissioned, including one by the young Camille Pépin (29), who this year became the first composer to receive a prize at the "Victoires de la musique classique".

For its 2021 edition, the festival has launched a call for projects to create a musical tale for young people. Cécile Buchet won out over 15 female composers.

For Ms. Bodin, the promotion of female composers must also be carried out at the level of conservatories.

Interviewed by AFP in 2019, Camille Pépin had indicated that she was the only girl in composition lessons at the Paris Conservatory. "But today the teachers I meet and the young musicians want things to happen; there are assumptions that are tough but are starting to fall apart".

The composers website

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