Obscure Music Monday: Mayer's Faust Overture
Emelie Luise Friderica Mayer (May 14, 1812 - April 10, 1883) was a German composer of Romantic music. While she studied music growing up, it was nothing serious. It wasn't until 1840 when her father died that she took music and composing seriously; she moved to Stettin to study with Carl Loewe, and then later moved to Berlin to study with Adolph Bernhard Max and Wilhelm Wieprecht. Later on in life she became the Associate Director of the Opera Academy in Berlin.
Mayer's compositional output was not insignificant; she wrote several symphonies, chamber works, lieder, an opera, and several overtures, including Faust Overture. One of her later orchestral works, this piece starts ominously, and maintains a serious, and at times brooding mood about it. The work has unresolved dominant seventh chords scattered here and there, which is something many of her works are known for. After a couple minutes of the dark introduction, she introduces the next theme, and off the orchestra goes on a tumultuous journey. Mayer writes a whimsical motif that interrupts, even if for only a brief while before the work turns back to its darker drama. Her writing keeps all sections busy as they work towards the end, which finishes triumphantly in major key.
Sadly we can't find a recording of this work for you to enjoy. We hope that changes soon!