Obscure Music Monday: Menter's Petite Valse
Sophie Menter (July 29, 1846 - Feb. 23, 1918) was a German pianist and composer, born to musical parents. At the age of fifteen she soloed with an orchestra, and her concertizing after that took her all around Germany and Switzerland. Menter would go on to be known for her interpretations of Franz Liszt's compositions, and she actually studied with him in 1869, after studying with other famous pianists like Carl Tausig and Hans von Bulow. Liszt described her as "my only piano daughter", and her playing was loved by critics and audiences alike. She became professor of piano at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1883, but left just three years after to continue concertizing. She also started composing for piano, but considered her compositional talent "miserable."
Menter's Petite Valse is anything but "miserable." It's incredibly graceful and luminescent. The opening motif climbs upward in a creative fashion, followed by a fluidly/moving the middle section, and the ending goes through some intriguing modulations, making for a charming piece.
Sadly, we can't find a recording of this work. Let's hope that changes soon!