We've previously taken a look at two works by Mélanie Hélène Bonis (Mel Bonis), her Suite en Trio and Sonata for Cello and Piano. If you're not familiar with Mel Bonis, make sure to take a look at those previous works to learn more about her. This week we take a look at her Piano Quartet No. 1, Op. 69.

As has previously discussed, Bonis was a classmate of Debussy and studied with Franck (whose influence can be heard in this work), but one of her champions was Camille Saint-Saëns, who fell in love with her music after hearing this beautiful work.

While much of Bonis' music has programatic ideas, this Piano Quartet is more abstract in nature. Built in a traditional four movement structure, Bonis gives herself flexibility within the form to create an engaging work. From an opening fugal style entry of the stringed instruments, we quickly see her creativity in moving the themes between the ensemble.

The Intermezzo, marked Allegretto tranquillo, opens with a murmuring of violin and viola, that again makes its way through the instruments and is filled with a relaxing joy. Following a beautiful slow movement, Bonis closes with a finale that moves to the relative minor, but somehow maintains the joy of the rest of the work.

We hope you enjoy this beautiful work from an overlooked, but extremely talented composer!