Cécile Chaminade

Cécile Chaminade was born in Paris on August 8, 1857. Her mother, excellent pianist and talented with a beautiful voice, will soon notice that Cécile has an amazing ear and a deep musical sensitivity. In 1863, her father bought a property in le Vésinet. That's where that small Cécile makes the knowledge of Bizet, twenty years her senior but a friend of her mother.

Bizet, who called Cécile "my little Mozart", due her artistic quality,  advises to refer to Le Couppey, Professor of piano at the Conservatory. Bizet gets Cécile to follow the teaching of the Conservatory, with such masters as Le Couppey for the piano and Savard for harmony.

Cécile Chaminade performed for the first time in public in the salle Pleyel with a Trio of Beethoven. The Press was spontaneous and  warm. The following year, in 1878, the Couppey organizes a concert devoted to the works of his young student. It was a new success that the audition of a Trio in G minor would confirm in 1880. In 1881, the Société Nationale scheduled a Suite pour Orchestre, which will be repeated the following year by Les Concerts des Champs-Elysées and followed by the Concerts Populaires Pasdeloup. But it is a private performance of a comic opera in one act, The Sevillian opus 10, on February 23, 1882, which will give the kick-off of the double career as a pianist and as a composer. She accompanies her score with a lot of taste.

In this period, she composed small pieces for Orchestra, transcripts of pieces for piano, a second Trio, her  Callirhoê ballet, created in Marseille on March 16th, 1888 with great success and which will be subsequently repeated  more than two hundred times, including at the Metropolitan Opera of New York. She then composed the Symphonie lyrique for choir and Orchestra, the Amazons on a poem by Grandmougin, whose creation will take place in Antwerp on April 18, 1888, and the Concertstuck opus 40, received with an extraordinary vogue.

Chaminade will then give recitals across France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Holland. Particularly appreciated in England, she will pay, as from 1892, regular visits there and will each time be invited by Queen Victoria to stay at Windsor. Touring in Europe leads her to Greece, Turkey and, during the 1907-1908 seasons, she gave twenty-five concerts before filled rooms in the United States and in Canada. On this occasion, she was invited for a lunch by Franklin Roosevelt.

Chaminade received many artists in her property of le Vésinet. She declared: "my love is music; I am its prioress, its vestal". She withdrew, in 1936, in Monte-Carlo where she will die, almost forgotten, on April 13, 1944.

The Opus 55, romantic pieces, for piano four hands, contains six parts: Primavera, La Chaise à Porteurs, Idylle Arabe, Sérénade d´Automne, Danse Hindoue et Rigaudon. The work is dedicated to Madame Breton-Halmagrand.