Le Beau, Luise Adolpha
- Judith E. Olson
(b Rastatt, April 25, 1850; d Baden-Baden, 1927). German composer, pianist and critic. She wrote her first pieces at 15 and made her piano début three years later with the Baden court orchestra. She performed her own compositions for Hans von Bülow, gaining his lifelong encouragement, and was briefly a pupil of Clara Schumann. She studied mainly, however, with Joseph Rheinberger, for which purpose the family moved to Munich in 1874. This was her most fruitful period as a composer and pianist and resulted in many of her best works, composition prizes, many favourable reviews of performances of her works, and meetings with Brahms, Liszt and Hanslick during extensive concert tours. Le Beau’s style, which changed little throughout her life, is characterized by strong, well-shaped themes and strict sonata structure, as well as some use of colourizing, non-functional chords and leitmotifs. Many development sections, however, consist of frequent repetitions of thematic material with little alteration. For this reason (as Hanslick noted) her choral works and smaller pieces with rigid strophic or dance structures are often more successful....