Obscure Music Monday: Chaminade's Avril s'éveille

Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade (Aug. 8, 1857 - April 13, 1944) was a French pianist and composer. Her first teacher was her mother, and she also took violin and compositions; sadly her father disapproved.Despite her father's disapproval, Chaminade was composing at a young age, and at eight years old she played some of her music for George Bizet, who was very impressed. Her first concert happened ten years later, and most of her compositions, which were mainly for piano, were published. She toured all around France, and Isidor Phillipp, head of the piano department at the Paris Conservatory, was a strong proponent of her works. Chaminade was also very popular in America; her work was often found in the music collections of song and piano music enthusiasts.

Avril s'éveille (April Awakens) is one of her many songs, and at around one and half minutes makes for a great salon work. It's a tuneful piece, cheerful and mildly chromatic, not unlike you would expect from late Romantic French music.

Here's a recording of this wonderful work for you to enjoy!

Alaina Warren Zachary

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