About the Repertoire - 2022 Concert Season

Nadia and Lili Boulanger 1913.jpg
Liza Lehmann 1913.jpg

Soirées Musicales Quintette


Annie Lower – soprano

Rachael Griffin – soprano

Mattias Lower – tenor

Leon Warnock – baritone

Peter Roennfeldt – piano


Friday 13 May 2022 (postponed to Friday 10 June) at 7.30pm


Sunday 15 May 2022 at 4pm


‘Rediscovered voices’




Works from ‘La belle époche’:

                Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) – ‘Cantique’ (1909)              

                Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) – ‘Attente’ (1910) and vocal quartet ‘Renouveau’ (1911)

                Piano pieces (1914) by each composer


Lieder and duets by Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn (1805-1847) to texts by Heinrich Heine:

                Duets – ‘Wenn ich in deine Augen seh’ and ‘Aus meinen Tränen spriessen’ (1838)

                Lieder – ‘Ach, die Augen sind es wieder’, ‘Fichtenbaum und Palme’, ‘Verlust’, and

                from Op.1 (1846) ‘Schwanenlied’ and ‘Warum sind denn die Rosen’


Works from the turn of the century by Amy Beach (1867-1944):

                Duets – ‘Songs of the sea’ Op.10 (1890) and ‘Give me not love’ Op.61 (1905)

                Piano solo – ‘Dreaming’ Op.15 No.3 (1892)


‘Nonsense songs from Alice in Wonderland’ (1908) by Liza Lehmann (1862-1918):

                Sub-titled ‘The songs that came out wrong – A song-cycle for four voices’

                Texts from the novel by Lewis Carroll including ‘How doth the little crocodile’,

                ‘Fury said to a mouse’, ‘Will you walk a little faster’, ‘The Queen of Hearts’ and the trial                         scene


This varied program continues our exploration of composers who, though once well-known, have receded from general awareness until relatively recently. The selection of fascinating vocal and piano music composed by women during the 19th and early 20th centuries covers a wide emotional and stylistic range.


Nadia and Lili Boulanger were from a prominent family of Parisian musicians, but their creative careers were rather short-lived. After achieving widespread acclaim before World War One, Lili’s untimely death in 1918 coincided with Nadia’s decision to focus primarily on teaching. Subsequently, in addition to mentoring many leading young composers, Nadia avidly promoted her late sister’s works.


As the elder sister of Felix Mendelssohn, Fanny enjoyed a brilliant public career before her marriage in 1829 to Wilhelm Hensel. Thereafter, her performances as pianist and conductor were mostly in private settings in Berlin, though some of Fanny’s songs appeared in print, initially under the banner of Felix’s publications. Her personal association with Heine, both as household visitor and literary acquaintance, inspired a large number of vocal settings of his poems, most of which had remained unpublished until quite recently.


Amy Beach was similarly prevented from continuing her pianistic career during her marriage, but as a relatively young widow she resumed her performances in 1910, both in the USA and Europe. Her prolific composing covers all stages of her long lifetime, from brilliant teenager to respected elder of American music. Her skill in setting texts from several languages is complemented with highly idiomatic piano writing.


Like some of the other composers on this program, Liza Lehmann had a major career change after her marriage, in 1894, but her creative work continued unabated. Her early success as a singer is evident in her many vocal compositions, which include some of the most famous parlour songs ever written and several extended works for vocal ensemble. In later years she was a prominent teacher in London.  


In all, this program celebrates the artistry of an impressive group of women whose multi-faceted skills and accomplishments were duly recognised in their lifetimes. We proudly join the well-established international movement towards rediscovering their voices, through presenting selected highlights of their music. Following the highly positive feedback from those who attended our first concert held at The Chambers, we are looking forward to returning to this fine heritage venue - an ideal setting for this program.


Tickets and booking information:


Book through 4MBS Ticketing on 3847 1717, nine to five, seven days a week, or online at 4mbs.com.au       Pre-bookings only — no door sales

$45 full / $38 concession / $15 full-time students

Please note - seating allocation is made when booking (online or by phone)

This concert is taking place under government and venue COVID-safe guidelines, as at the date of performance

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Fanny Hensel 1847.jpg
Amy-Marcy-Beach undated.jpg

Fanny Hensel 1847

  Amy Beach c1900  

Liza Lehmann 1913 

Nadia & Lili           Boulanger 1913       

Entry at Gate 8 on Graham Street for lift and stair access to the second-floor venue

Public transport: Busway to Mater Hill

Parking: 192 Vulture Street Car Park and 15 Hancock Street Car Park (limited street parking)