Louise Farrenc was renowned in her lifetime as a pianist, composer and teacher, but it is only recently that her compositions have emerged from many years of neglect. Symphony No. 1 in C minor – cast in the German tradition – is an exceptionally accomplished work, finely orchestrated, lyrical and fiery, and a substantial contribution to the canon. The Grand Variations on a Theme by Count Gallenberg is a showcase for virtuosic elegance, and the two overtures demonstrate real theatrical drama – Overture No. 2 was admired by no less a figure than Hector Berlioz.
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