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Arabesque Op. 61 – Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944)


Arabesque Op. 61 – Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944)

Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944) was a French composer and pianist. During her career, her works were quite popular and were financially successful. However, at the end of her life, her compositions were all but erased due to several factors including her works being deemed either “salon pieces,” a genre of music deemed simple, feminine, and only fit for the living room or, in the case of her orchestral music, as too masculine. Her style is squarely Romantic in nature, with flowing melodies and lush harmonies. Chaminade’s Arabesque No. 1, composed in 1892, is an excellent representation of her work, with its notable melodies and dramatic flourishes including delightful arpeggios and grace notes.


A native of North Carolina, Addy Knepp began playing piano at five years of age under the tutelage of her father and continued her piano study with a formal teacher through her high school graduation. Addy began her journey at Salem College in 2021 and is graduating in May with a Visual and Performing Arts degree with a concentration in Music. While at Salem, Addy has studied piano with pianist and musicologist, Dr. Amy Zigler, and pipe organ with Dr. Timothy Olsen. Addy enjoys playing classical music, but also has a passion for traditional sacred music and has worked within the church for over nine years. In her free time, Addy enjoys cooking, visual art, and appreciating the outdoors through hiking and bird watching.