August 20, 2022—La Boîte à Pépites (The Jewel Box) is a new classical record label dedicated to releasing music by women composers. Founded by cellist Héloïse Luzzati, the label has ambitious plans to discover and record works by women composers that have rarely, if ever, been heard before or were lost over the decades. The label launches in North America October 21, 2022 with a 3CD boxed set of the complete works of French composer Charlotte Sohy, followed in 2023 with a collection of works by Rita Strohl (1865-1941) with many others in the pipeline including the British composers Liza Lehmann, Alice Mary Smith, and Adela Maddison.
The record label forms one part of the “Elles – Women Composers” project – devised by Héloïse Luzzati – which began with the creation of the “Un Temps pour Elles” music festival in France and soon followed by the YouTube channel “La Boîte à Pépites” which today contains more than 60 videos, from animated documentaries to a video advent calendar – a goldmine of short videos intended to let everyone have fun discovering the works and the lives of women who remained in the shadows.
“Charlotte Sohy – Compositrice de la Belle Epoque” is the first collection to be released on the new label on October 21, 2022. Charlotte Sohy (1887-1955) composed around 35 works and her Piano, Chamber, and Orchestral pieces are spread here across 3CDs. With the exception of the Rustic Triptych, this is the first time these pieces have been recorded.
The decision to devote the very first album to Charlotte Sohy arose from founder and artistic director Héloïse Luzzati’s encounters with conductor Debora Waldman and Charlotte Sohy’s grandson François-Henri Labey. Thanks to immense amounts of work and devotion to the task, Labey was able to preserve and digitize all of his grandmother’s compositions, providing the scores without which the present set of CDs would not have been possible.
“Charlotte Sohy – Compositrice de la Belle Epoque” is available in a 3CD boxed set with beautifully illustrated booklet notes, as well as via online streaming platforms and download.
Charlotte Sohy Biography
Born in France in 1887, Charlotte Sohy was encouraged in her artistic studies by her father. A student of the greatest musicians of her time, such as Louis Vierne and Vincent d’Indy, she was a friend of many brilliant women musicians like Nadia Boulanger, in her childhood, and later Mel Bonis. In 1909, she married Marcel Labey, another composer, with whom she had seven children; her wealthy household allowed her to fulfill her vocation as a composer alongside her duties as a mother. She sometimes signed her compositions with the name of her grandfather, Charles Sohy, writing lyrical dramas, chamber music, and symphonic music: almost none of her 35 works has ever been published.