Devised by Laetitia Grimaldi and Ammiel Bushakevitz, Ombres brings together songs by nine women composers whose lives span the years 1821–1964. Many of the songs were written during the so-called Belle Époque, at a time when women might be accepted as performers – especially in domestic settings – but struggled to be recognised as composers. And even in the cases when their music was heard – for instance in the fashionable salons of Paris – or published, it soon fell into oblivion.
Several of the songs included here were discovered by Grimaldi and Bushakevitz in libraries and archives, having gone out of print long ago. With Ombres, the performers liberate the nine composers from their shadowy existence, and demonstrate the wide range of their music, from Cécile Chaminade’s bustling Villanelle to Pauline Viardot’s nocturnal Les étoiles or the ghostly Les lavandières by Augusta Holmès, about the Midnight Washerwomen from Celtic mythology.
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