Chaminade died at the age of 87 in a small apartment in Monte Carlo on April 13, 1944. She was an invalid, having had her left foot amputated and she had been forgotten by the world.
According to the New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers, Chaminade's sharp decline in reputation was "partly attributable to modernism and a general disparagement of late-Romantic French music, but it is also due to the socio-aesthetic conditions affecting women and their music."
Chaminade had one very successful tour to America in the fall of 1908. Traveling with a soprano and a tenor, the company played 12 cities in eight weeks. The soprano also served as Chaminade's interpreter. The tour was the major musical AND social event of the Fall 1908 season.
Her signature song was The Little Silver Ring, (l'Anneau d'Argent) which enjoyed world-class success. John McCormack the famous Irish tenor, is said to have included it in every concert from about 1925 on. One particularly florid, coloratura piece, L'Été, was recorded and performed by some of the divas of the day, Emma Albani and Adelina Patti. Lillian Nordica sang "Le Noël des Oiseaux," Calvé sang "Sur la Plage," and Nellie Melba was known for her performance of "Viens, Mon Bien-Aimé."
La Chaminade's creative output of over 400 compositions includes 135 "mélodies" (songs), few of which have been recorded until now. Lyric soprano, Alaina Warren Zachary is the first American to record a CD of all-Chaminade songs. Entitled "Mon Coeur Chante! The Songs of Cécile Chaminade," the CD was released on November 7, 2001.
For more information about the life and works of Cécile Chaminade: Cécile Chaminade: a Bio-Bibliography by Marcia J. Citron, Portrait de Cécile Chaminade by Cécile Tardif, "The Songs of Cécile Chaminade," article by Candace A. Magner, Journal of Singing, Vol. 57, No.4, March/April 2001.
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