Ann Valentine 



 I. Biography

 II. Surviving Works, New Editions, and Recordings

 III. Sources

I. Biography

Ann Valentine was an English organist, music seller, and composer of keyboard music. She was descended from a family of musicians who were prominent in the cosmopolitan city of Leicester in the eighteenth century. The daughter of John Valentine II (1730-1791) and Tabitha Valentine, she was born on January 11, 1762, and christened on March 15 at St. Martin’s church. Her concert debut was as soloist in a harpsichord concerto during a family concert at Rugby (Warwickshire), about twenty miles south of Leicester. Around 1785 she was appointed organist at St. Margaret’s church, an important position, as the cultural life of towns in the midlands often centered on the parish church and the local squire. Also in 1785 she and four other family members participated in a series of subscription concerts that were apparently stimulated by the construction, between 1770 and 1780, of new organs, likewise paid for by public subscription, in the three principal churches of Leicester. Miss (Ann) Valentine played organ concertos or harpsichord lessons by Handel, and Miss Fanny Valentine (her second cousin) sang arias from Handel’s oratorios.

 Ann Valentine’s father, John, was the principal musician in Leicester. According to his announcements in the local press, he taught harpsichord, guitar, cello, violin, bassoon, vox humane (probably a small reed organ), hautboy (oboe), German flute, fife, trumpet, and French horn. He sold instruments, cases, reeds, strings, tuning forks, music paper, and music. He composed much music, including marches and dances for small instrumental ensembles, and psalm tunes in four parts. According to the American music historian Karl Kroeger, John Valentine’s works, to judge from the subscription lists, were used throughout England by musical societies, dancing masters, choir masters, organists, and gentlemen musicians.

 After his death in 1791, Ann carried on much of her father’s work. As a composer, however, she concentrated on music for “ladies,” that is, piano music, with and without voices or an accompanying instrument, rather than music for “gentlemen” instrumentalists such as her father had supplied. In 1790 she published a set of ten sonatas for harpsichord or piano with violin or flute accompaniment. Although the sonatas are often dated ca.1798, the American music historian Karl Kroeger in his biography of John Valentine cites an announcement in the Leicester Journal for 1790 that Ann Valentine’s Ten Sonatas have just been published. Penelope Matheisen of Indiana University has identified many of the 138 subscribers to the volume, who include composers, instrument builders, organists, and some of the leading English musicians. Around 1798 she published a rondo on the strathsprey Monny Musk, a popular Scottish dance tune composed by Daniel Dow in 1775 and dedicated to Sir Archibld Grant of Monemusk, Aberdeenshire. (At some point “Monymusk” entered the American fiddle tradition, but as a reel instead of a strathsprey.) The Ten Sonatas and Monny Musk, Arranged as a Rondo for the Piano-Forte (ca.1798) have been published in modern edition.

 Ann Valentine published many other popular works as well. Seven pieces were discovered in the 1990s bound together with other items in the early nineteenth century as part of a matched home library set of six volumes acquired by Indiana University and housed in the Lilly Library. Ann Valentine served as organist at St. Margaret’s until as late as 1834. She died on October 13, 1842, in Leicester.

II. Surviving Works and New Editions

Le cheval de course, a Favorite Divertimento for the Piano Forte. LL

A Collect for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity. London/Dublin: Goulding, D’Almaine, Potter & Co. For voices and pf [or organ?]. [Words between staves of keyboard part.] LL

A Favorite March & Rondo for the Piano Forte. London [1808]. Lbl, LL (composer’s autograph on title page).

A Favorite Slow Movement, and Rondo, for the Piano Forte. London/Dublin: Goulding, D’Almaine, Potter & Co. LL

The Flight from Russia, a Rondo for the Piano-Forte, with or without Additional Keys. London/Dublin: Goulding [181-]. 4 pp. LL, Lib of Congress.

Monny Musk, Arranged as a Rondo for the Piano-Forte. London: Cahusac & Sons, for the author [ca. 1798]. 3 pp. Lbl. Pittsburgh: T Finney MLib.

- New edition, edited, with introduction, by Deborah Hayes, in Women Composers: Music Through the Ages, edited by Sylvia Glickman and Martha Schleifer (12 vols; New York: G. K. Hall/Macmillan, 1995- ), vol. 3, p.148-156.

My Patie Is a Lover Gay, an Admired Scotch Air, Arranged as a Rondo. London/Dublin: Goulding, D’Almaine, Potter & Co., n.d. 5 pp. LL (2 copies, one bound with J.B. Cramer’s Instructions for the Piano Forte [London: s.n. (182-)], one bound separately).

Six [of the ten] Sonatas for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord with an Accompaniment for the Violin or German-Flute … op. 1. London: Preston & Son [ca.1794]. Parts: Lbl

Ten Sonatas for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord with an Accompaniment for the Violin or German-Flute … opera prima. Dedicated to the Right Honorable Lady Frances Harpur. London: printed for the author [by R. Wells, ca.[1798]. Parts. Univ/Birmingham. Lbl. Oxford: Bodleian. LL. Lib at Lincoln Center (pf only). LC (vn only) [London, 1796?]

- New edition, edited by Calvert Johnson. Fayetteville, AR: ClarNan Editions, 1994. Score and part.

Three Favorite Waltzes Composed & Arranged for the Piano-Forte. London: William Maurice Cahusac, for the author [1805]. 3 pp. For pf and voice. Lbl and Wash DC: Scottish Rite Masons, Supreme Council.

Ye Gentlest Gales. Written by a Lady on the Death of Mr. Henry Kirk White. Composed & Arranged for the Piano Forte, by A. Valentine. London: Button, Whitaker, and Beadnell, n.d. LL

III. Sources

Brown, James Duff. British Musical Biography: A Dictionary of Musical Artists, Authors and Composers Born in Britain and its Colonies. Birmingham: Stratton, 1897.

Caldwell, John. English Keyboard Music Before the Nineteenth Century. New York: Praeger, 1973.

Jackson, Barbara Garvey. “Say Can You Deny Me”: A Guide to Surviving Music by Women from the 16th through the 18th Centuries. Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 1994.

Johnson, Calvert. “Ann Valentine.” In Ann Valentine: Ten Sonatas (Fayetteville, AR: ClarNan Editions, 1994), viii-ix.

Kroeger, Karl. “John Valentine: Eighteenth-Century Music Master in the English Midlands.” Notes: Journal of the Music Library Association 44 (1988), 444-55.

Medforth, Martin. “The Valentines of Leicester: A Reappraisal of an 18th-Century Musical Family.” Musical Times 132 (1981), 812-18.

Mathiesen, Penelope. “Winds of Yore: What’s New With Old Woodwinds? Miss Valentine’s Sonatas.” Continuo 17/1 (February 1993), 5.

Sadie, Julie Anne. “Ann Valentine.” New Grove (Norton/Grove) Dictionary of Women Composers. London: Macmillan, 1994. New York: Norton, 1995.