The Future is Female, Vol. 2, The Dance | Sarah Cahill, piano | First Hand Records | Available October 21, 2022. Recorded at St. Stephen’s Church, Belvedere, California, August 15–28, 2021 | Produced and recorded by Matt Carr. https://youtu.be/cMAS_xGYOCY
Élisabeth Jacquet De La Guerre (1665–1729) – From Les Pièces De Clavecin (1687) Suite No. 1 In D Minor
Clara Schumann (1819–1896) – Variations, Op. 20 (1853)
Germaine Tailleferre (1892–1983) – Partita (1957)
Zenobia Powell Perry (1908–2004) – Rhapsody (1960)
Madeleine Dring (1881–1947) – Colour Suite (1963)
Betsy Jolas (B. 1926) – Tango Si (1984)
Elena Kats-Chernin (B. 1957) – Peggy’s Rag (1996)
Meredith Monk (B. 1942) – St. Petersburg Waltz (1997)
Gabriela Ortiz (B. 1964) – Preludio y Estudio No. 3 (2011)
Theresa Wong (B. 1976) – She Dances Naked Under Palm Trees (2019)
Sarah Cahill’s work goes well beyond that of a pianist – in which she excels – and reaches into the field of musicology, as she mines for the few well known and the many neglected compositions of women.
In her album The Future is Female, Vol. 2, The Dance Cahill explores the works of Élisabeth Jacquet De La Guerre – a 17th century French composer, whose Pièces De Clavecin are represented in Cahill’s recording by a suite of Baroque dances elegantly played. From there Cahill seamlessly moves to the Romantic era in a set of variations by Clara Schumann.
Cahill next lands squarely in the 20th century playing works by female composers some of whose names are largely unfamiliar – Theresa Wong, Elena Kats-Chernin, Betsy Jolas, Madeleine Dring, Zenobia Powell- Perry – or rarely encountered outside concerts of new music – Gabriela Ortiz, Meredith Monk. Only the now and then encountered name of Germaine Tailleferre rang a bell of recognition.
Praise must go to Sarah Cahill for her pianistic prowess and even more for her exhaustive research into an overlooked segment of the repertoire for the piano, which reassures this listener that, as the album’s title suggests, the future of music written by female composers is now.
Rafael de Acha © 2022