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Mel Bonis : Gai Printemps , Impromptu, Op. 11 (from 'Cinque Pièces pour Piano'

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Published on Sep 1, 2011

Way before the Spice Girls, here was another Mel B - Mélanie Bonis (1858-1937) , a French composer who also shortened her name - presumably so that attention would not be drawn to the fact that she was a woman. She was a protégé of Cesar Franck, and attended the Paris Conservatoire. She had a very turbulent private life, being forced by her family to abandon her lover for a much older widower. She had an illegitimate daughter with her first lover whose true parentage was hidden for many years, and who fell in love (in ignorance of it) with her half brother. Bonis wrote songs, and piano and chamber music. This piece, from 1889, shows a sophisticated harmonic sensibility. The title translates (carefully - for the 21st century) as 'Merry Spring'.
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