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date: 19 October 2020

Chrétien, Hedwige (Gennaro- )locked

  • Judy Tsou

Extract

(Gennaro- )

(b 1859; d 1944). French composer and teacher. She studied with Ernest Guiraud at the Paris Conservatoire, where she won first prize in both harmony and fugue in 1881 and later became a professor. Little else is known of her life. She composed about 150 works, including 50 songs, 50 piano pieces, two one-act comic operas, a very successful ballet, and several chamber and orchestral works. Although the subject matter of her texts is often traditional, such as love, patriotism and troubadours, the musical idiom is clearly 20th century: most works are through-composed, using ninth, eleventh and thirteenth chords, with chromatic melodies and frequent changes of metre and tonality, often modulating into remote keys. Chrétien’s fame extended beyond France into England and the USA. Some of her songs were translated and published in England, and her wind quintet was reprinted in the USA.

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B. Pazdírek: Universal-Handbuch der Musikliteratur aller Zeiten und Völker (Vienna, 1904-10/R)
The New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers
A.I. Cohen: International Encyclopedia of Women Composers