Music of Germaine Tailleferre, one of the celebrated members of the legendary Group Les Six, which included Georges Auric, Darius Milhaud, Artur Honegger, Louis Durey. Les Six represented a reaction to the musical status quo of the time.
Tailleferre was friends with Auric, Milhaud and the others from their days as students at the Paris Conservatory where she won many awards in composition. She was also close friends Francis Poulenc and spent a good deal of time with Maurice Ravel who encouraged her to enter the Prix de Rome in 1923.
Tailleferre was the only woman of the group, but also one of the more prolific members. Her output is astonishing and goes from her earliest piecein 1909 to one of last pieces from 1982.
This piece, Ouverture for Orchestra is from 1932 and is played on this ORTF Radio Studio session by The French National Orchestra conducted by Eugéne Bigot and comes from roughly 1953.
I think it would be safe to say that the music of Germaine Tailleferre is well known, not only because of her association and collaborations with the other members of the group, but because her musical output is so vast and covers so many combinations of instruments; solo and orchestral. Many of her pieces have been recorded several times as well as performed in concert. So the Classical music enthusiast is no doubt familiar with her work.
But in the off-chance you aren’t, have a listen to this piece, it’s only 4 minutes. But go exploring and discover her other work. She was an important composer who was very influential and is certainly one of the handful of Women composers at the time who gained international attention – and in the 1920s, that was huge.