“The Norwegians have their Grieg, The Finns their Sibelius, the Poles have their Chopin. And WE have Emilie Mayer – we just didn’t know it until now!” So proclaimed the northern German Nordkurrier in May 2012, when the Neubrandenburger Philharmonie celebrated the 200th anniversary of Emilie Mayer’s birth.
Despite being very prolific and celebrated in her lifetime, Mayer was completely forgotten after her death. A 2001 CD that included her Fifth Symphony was the result of a conference in Berlin on women composers of the 19th century.
But the 2012 Festival brought a wide range of her work into the light, with conductor Stefan Malzew leading the project and uncovering and reconstructing the long-neglected treasures. The ramifications of that festival continue, with a performance tonight, of Mayer’s Piano Concerto.
We can’t get there, but will listen to this recording of Malzew and the Neubrandenburger Philharmonie. It is presumably from the 2012 festival, which was broadcast on the radio.
Then next month, Malzew leads a concert including both Mayer’s Piano Concerto, and the reconstructed Symphony no. 4. Oh, and also some Beethoven.
What a thrill to hear this exciting music that has lain dormant for so long! Now to see if this great composer, called the “female Beethoven” in her time, will be performed by other ensembles! Let’s hope so!
More on the 2012 Festival here, although unfortunately the links in this article are are no longer live. And here’s an article on the concerts taking place soon — just right-click and select “translate to English!”