Hedwige Chrétien (1859-1944), born in Compiègne, rose to prominence as a composer, earning a professorship at the Paris Conservatoire in 1889, a prestigious institution where she had previously honed her skills as a student under the tutelage of Ernest Guiraud. Her exceptional musical talents were recognized early on, culminating in her triumphant victories in various competitions, including first prizes in harmony, counterpoint, and fugue in 1881, alongside top honors in piano and composition in other contests she entered. Despite her prolific output, details about Chrétien’s personal life remain elusive. Nevertheless, her musical legacy endures through approximately 150 compositions, spanning a wide range of genres including piano pieces, orchestral and chamber works, songs, as well as two ballets and two one-act operas.

The six little preludes in this book represent excellent examples of her musical skill, and are all highly expressive and descriptive. They make superb concert repertoire.

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