Salon des oubliés: Romantic piano gems from German mystery composer Louise Adolpha Le Beau
CDs for review arrive faster than I can listen to them, so many end up forgotten in the monthly jumble. One overlooked recent release I slipped into the player yesterday contained the first complete recording of the piano music of Luise Adolphe Le Beau by Croatian-born pianist Ana-Marija Markovina, who is virtually unknown in North America.
The 25 pieces by Le Beau (1850-1927) turned out to be a fine listen. Judging from the opus numbers, the disc is arranged chronologically. The earliest pieces could be forgotten works by Franz Schubert. The composer gets harmonically and texturally more adventurous as time passes. Markovina plays with an easy technique and restrained elegance in this recording made in Belefeld, Germany last May.
For details, click here.
Liking what I heard, I pulled out the CD booklet to find out more about Le Beau. In its 20 pages (in standard European style, there are three languages represented), all I could find in the pseudo-learned gobbledygook and meanderings of Dr. Helmut Reuter of Bremen University was that Le Beau was born into a music-loving family in Baden-Baden, and counted the Clara Schumann, Brahms and Liszt among her composer friends.
I scanned YouTube for something helpful, and found a couple of Lieder and this lovely piece for cello and piano that is entirely representative of Le Beau's style: