Soundpost: Letters to the Editor April 2021

Amalia

A selection of letters The Strad receives each month from its readers around the world: April 2021 issue

ONE GOOD TURN

The favourable review of Ensemble Diderot’s new recording (Reviews, March) mentions five of the six composers featured on the disc. The sixth, who is not mentioned at all, is Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia (1723–87, above). She was a very interesting figure and talented composer, daughter of King Frederick William I and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, and sister of Frederick the Great. She studied with Johann Philipp Kirnberger, one of Bach’s most distinguished students, and appointed him her kapellmeister. Kirnberger included one of Anna Amalia’s works in his Kunst des reinen Satzes, a classic 18th-century book on composition technique. Ensemble Diderot’s album includes the world premiere recording of her Fugue in D major, but sadly she is omitted from the review. Anna Amalia also collected music in her Berlin library, preserving works by J.S. and C.P.E. Bach, as well as Handel, Telemann and others, thereby making a significant contribution to western music.

CATHERINE WILMERS

Baldock, UK

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