Madame Mallalieu - an inspiring musician and her legacy for Queensland
by Prof. Peter Roennfeldt
In Brief :
310 pages, 153 mm x 235 mm Hard cover, Section sewn
The achievements of one remarkable person and many of those in her circle. Henrietta ‘Madame’ Mallalieu née Percival, later Mrs Willmore migrated to Brisbane in the mid 19th Century. She gave countless musical performances of a complex, brilliant and expressive repertoire over a public career lasting more than 60 years. Her home in Toowong, Brisbane became a CWA Hostel for young girls, and her story is a vital part of the cultural heritage of this city.
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Documents and celebrates the achievements of one remarkable person and many of those in her circle. Henrietta ‘Madame’ Mallalieu née Percival, later Mrs Willmore is one of those figures who casts a long shadow, both during their lifetime and afterwards. In very recent times the only known photographic image of Henrietta seated at a musical instrument has been found. Even this does not do justice or fully represent this woman who gave countless performances of complex, brilliant and expressive repertoire over a public career lasting more than 60 years. The concept of heritage preservation is not new, but the ways in which the achievements of a person or organisation can be preserved and honoured are ever changing. It is hoped this volume will serve to extend the appreciation of Henrietta and the ways her influence and legacy have touched so many people. Her contribution to the formation of Brisbane’s cultural identity as a modern city has also been documented as completely as possible. In the absence of recordings, the best insights one can gain about a musician’s persona and skills are to be found in the scores of the works they performed, and to a certain extent within the commentary documented by well-informed peers. In the case of Henrietta, there exists a huge amount of press coverage of her performances, all of which is uniformly laudatory. She did not shy away from the most technically demanding repertoire as an organist and pianist. She also appeared to delight in the challenges provided both by virtuoso showpieces and the more profound masterworks. As she demonstrated repeatedly through her careful programming and preparation of printed background notes on the repertoire performed, Henrietta was also greatly concerned with audience development.
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