Amy Beach

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Born: 5 Sep 1867

Died: 27 Dec 1944



Amy Marcy Cheney Beach was an American composer and pianist. She was the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music. Most of her compositions and performances were under the name Mrs. H. H. A. Beach.
Amy Beach was a child prodigy, she began formal piano lessons with her mother at the age of six, and a year later started giving public recitals.
Beach made her professional debut in Boston in 1883, playing Chopin Rondo in E-flat and Moscheles’s G minor Concerto; shortly after she appeared as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Following her marriage in 1885 to Dr. Henry Harris Aubrey Beach – a Boston surgeon 24 years older than she – she agreed to limit performances to two public recitals a year, with profits donated to charity. Following her husband's wishes, she devoted herself to composition. Her first major success was the Mass in E-flat major, which was performed in 1892 by the Handel and Haydn Society. The well-received performance of the Mass moved Beach into the rank of America's foremost composers. She composed the Jubilate for the dedication of the Woman's Building at the Columbian Exposition in 1893.
After her husband died in 1910, Beach toured Europe for three years as a pianist, playing her own compositions. She was determined to establish a reputation there as both a performer and composer. She returned to America in 1914, where she spent time at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. In 1915, she wrote Ten Commandments for Young Composers, which expressed many of her self-teaching principles. Beach later moved to New York, where she became the virtual composer-in-residence at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, New York. She used her status as the top female American composer to further the careers of young musicians; serving as leader of several organizations, including the Society of American Women Composers as its first president. Heart disease led to Beach's retirement in 1940 and her death in New York City in 1944.
Beach's compositions include the Mass in E-flat major (1892), the Gaelic Symphony (1896), a violin sonata, a piano concerto, a piano quintet and a piano trio, several choral and chamber music compositions, piano music (including the Variations on Balkan Themes), approximately 150 songs and the opera Cabildo (1932).
Her sacred choral works include a settings of the Te Deum first performed by the choir of men and boys at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Boston, St. Francis's Canticle of the Sun first performed at St. Bartholomew's in New York, and a dozen other pieces.
In the early 1890s, Beach started having interest in folk songs. She shared that interest with several of her colleagues, and this interest soon came to be the first nationalist movement in American music. Beach's contributions included about thirty songs inspired by folk music, including Scottish; Irish; Balkan; African-American; and Native-American origins, of which she composed five themes.

The above is an excerpt from Wikipedia. For the full article, click here.

List of choral/vocal works

Sacred Choral works

with Orchestra

with Piano or Organ

  • O Praise the Lord, All Ye Nations, Op.7
  • 3 Choral Responses, Op.8 (these three pieces can also be performed acappella)
  1. Nunc dimittis
  2. With prayer and supplication
  3. Peace I leave with you
  • Bethlehem, Op.24
  • Alleluia, Christ is risen, Op.27
  • Teach me thy way, Op.33
  • Peace on Earth, Op.38
  • A Hymn of Freedom, Op.52
  • Service in A, Op.63
  • All hail the power of Jesus' name, Op.74
  • Thou knowest, Lord, Op.76
  • Canticles, Op.78
  1. Bonum est, confiteri
  2. Deus misereatur
  3. Cantate Domino
  4. Benedic, anima mea
  • Te Deum, Op.84
  • Constant Christmas, Op.95
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd, Op.96
  • Benedictus es, Domine, Benedictus, Op.103
  • Let this mind be in you, Op.105
  • Lord of the worlds above, Op.109
  • Around the Manger, Op.115
  • Benedicite omnia opera Domini, Op.121
  • Communion Responses, Op.122
  • 4 Choral Responses, Op.133
  • God is our stronghold, Op.134
  • Lord of all being, Op.146
  • I will give thanks, Op.147
  • Pax nobiscum

A cappella

  • Help Us, O God, Op.50
  • I will lift up mine eyes, Op.98
  • Evening Hymn: The shadows of the evening hours, Op.125
  • O Lord, God of Israel, Op.141
  • Hymn: O God of love, O King of peace

Secular Choral works

with Orchestra

  • The Minstrel and the King: Rudolph von Hapsburg, Op.16
  • The Rose of Avon-Town, Op.30
  • Song of Welcome for Voices, Op.42
  • Sylvania: a Wedding Cantata, Op.46
  • A Song of Liberty, Op.49
  • The Sea-Fairies, Op.59
  • The Chambered Nautilus, Op.60
  • Panama Hymn, Op.74

with Piano or acappella

  • 3 Flower Songs, Op.31
  1. The Clover
  2. The Yellow Daisy
  3. The Bluebell
  • Fairy Lullaby, Op.37/3
  • 3 Shakespeare Choruses, Op.39
  1. Over hill, over dale
  2. Come unto these yellow sands
  3. Through the house give glimmering light    (2 editions available)
  • Far Awa’, Op.43/4
  • 2 Works for female chorus, Op.44
  1. The year’s at the spring
  2. Ah, love, but a day
  • Juni, Op.51/3
  • Shena Van, Op.56/4
  • 3 Works for female chorus, Op.57
  1. Only a Song
  2. One Summer Day
  3. ?
  • 2 Works for children’s chorus, Op.118
  1. The Moonboat
  2. Who has seen the wind
  • 2 Works for male chorus, Op.118
  1. Sea Fever
  2. The Last Prayer
  • When the last sea is sailed, Op.127
  • Drowsy Dream Town, Op.129
  • We who sing have walked in glory, Op.140
  • This morning very early, Op.144
  • Singing Joyfully
  • An Indian Lullaby
  • Friends
  • Balloons
  • The Ballad of the P.E.O.

Solo vocal works

  • 4 Songs, Op.1
  1. With Violets
  2. Die vier Brüder
  3. Jeune fille et jeune fleur
  4. Ariette
  • 3 Songs, Op.2
  1. Twilight
  2. When far from her
  3. Empress of night
  • Songs of the Sea, Op.10
  1. A Canadian Boat Song
  2. The Night Sea
  3. Sea Song
  • 3 Songs, Op.11
  1. Dark is the night
  2. The Western Wind
  3. The Blackbird
  • 3 Songs, Op.12
  1. Wilt thou be my dearie?
  2. Ye banks and braes o’ bonnie doon
  3. My luve is like a red, red rose
  • Hymn of Trust, Op.13
  • 4 Songs, Op.14
  1. The Summer Wind
  2. Le secret
  3. Sweetheart, sigh no more
  4. The Thrush
  • 3 Songs, Op.19
  1. For me the jasmine buds unfold
  2. Ecstasy
  3. Golden Gates
  • Across the World, Op.20
  • 3 Songs, Op.21
  1. Chanson d’amour
  2. Extase
  3. Elle et moi
  • 4 Songs, Op.26
  1. My Star
  2. Just for this
  3. Spring
  4. Wouldn’t that be queer
  • 4 Songs, Op.29
  1. Within thy heart
  2. The Wandering Knight
  3. Sleep, little darling
  4. Haste, O beloved
  • 4 Songs, Op.35
  1. Nachts
  2. Allein!
  3. Nähe des Geliebten
  4. Forget-me-not
  • 3 Shakespeare Songs, Op.37
  1. O mistress mine
  2. Take, O take those lips away
  3. Fairy Lullaby
  • 3 Songs, Op.41
  1. Anita
  2. Thy beauty
  3. Forgotten
  • 5 Burns Songs, Op.43
  1. Dearie
  2. Scottish Cradle Song
  3. Oh were my love yon lilac fair!
  4. Far awa’
  5. My lassie
  • 3 Browning Songs, Op.44
  1. The year’s at the spring
  2. Ah, love but a day
  3. I send my heart up to thee
  • 4 Songs, Op.48
  1. Come, ah come
  2. Good Morning
  3. Good Night
  4. Canzonetta
  • 4 Songs, Op.51
  1. Ich sagte nicht
  2. Wir drei
  3. Juni
  4. Je demande à l’oiseau

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External links