Although MUSIC may be a feminine word, la musica, women themselves were in the background for centuries. A woman could/may sing sweetly, but composing, conducting, and playing music was for men.
The earliest woman composer in our collection, Sulpitia Lodovica Cesis (1577-unknown date of death), was an excellent lute player. Her only known work is 23 “Motetti Spirituali,” the thirteenth of which is a Stabat Mater of just under seven minutes.
Only three hundred years later, in 1909, the next woman announces herself: Bertha Frensel Wegener-Koopman (1874-1953), originally from the Netherlands.
That’s why we are delighted to get in touch with Dr. Petra Andrejewski who introduced us to Princess Amalie von Sachsen, born in 1794 in Dresden (Germany). She was the eldest daughter of Prince Maximilian (1759–1838) and Caroline von Bourbon–Parma (1770–1804).
The princess received a comprehensive musical education. She played the violin, piano, sang, and started composing at an early age. Her teachers included Joseph Schuster, Franz Anton Schubert, Vincenzo Rastrelli, Aloys Miksch, and Carl Maria von Weber.
Between 1812 and 1835, she composed several songs, a string quartet, church music, a comic opera, and 12 operas. She often used the pseudonym A. Serena. Performances mostly took place within the royal family circle at the summer residence, Pillnitz Castle, or at the Dresden Princes’ Palace on Taschenberg. Her church musical compositions were heard in the Dresden Court Church. Carl Maria von Weber often conducted her works, and the already famous Dresden Court Orchestra played them.
We just added her Stabat Mater (1824). It is a wonderfully beautiful piece, it has opera-like elements, and it reminds us of Mozart. Dr. Petra Andrejewski was kind enough to share the audio recording with us. Thank you so much!
The native Berliner Dr. Petra Andrejewski initially studied church music and later orchestral music in Dresden. She was a member of the orchestra of the Landesbühnen Sachsen in Radebeul near Dresden until its dissolution. Since 2012, she has been working as a freelance oboist in well-known ensembles in Dresden. In 2016, she founded her own publishing house, Edition Serena, primarily for the publication of compositions, especially those of Princess Amalie von Sachsen. In 2021, she completed her Ph.D. in Musicology with a thesis on “The Composer Amalie von Sachsen.” You can watch the entire concert on the YouTube channel of Edition Serena.