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A Mirage by Amy Beach (No. 1 from Two Songs, Op. 100) - arranged for solo piano


This original piano solo arrangement for Fullscore Publishing includes versions in two keys: the original (in Db) for advanced pianists and a transposed version (in C) that should be easier for intermediate pianists. Both are challenging and should involve a generous use of the pedals (even where not indicated) to achieve a legato, vocalistic performance. There are finger stretches, cross-over of hands (bar 25), consecutive r/h 5th-fingered legato tune - and lovely, scrunchy chords (bars 4, 5, 23)  It’s an unusually beautiful piece. The lyrics (and a few tricky fingerings) are also included.


The pianist, composer and child piano prodigy Amy Beach (Mrs H. H. A. Beach) was the first American woman musician of success (both within the USA and Europe) with large-scale 'classical/art’ music. Born in New Hampshire (USA) in 1867, she married a Boston surgeon 24 years senior then herself in 1885, aged 28. She agreed to limit her performances to a minimal number of public recitals a year, but was encouraged to continue composing. After her husband died in 1910, Beach toured Europe for three years as a pianist. After returning to the United States she moved to New York where she pioneered the support of young musicians and became the first president of the Society of American Women Composers (of which she was preeminent). She composed in her head, not a piano, for the whole of her life. She died in 1944, leaving a legacy of 300 published musical compositions that included the ‘Gaelic’ symphony (Op.32 - first performed in 1896, a first for a US female composer), a piano concerto and a wide range of sacred and secular choral, along with piano works, 150 songs, several chamber pieces and the opera Cabildo (1932). 


Amy Beach once said: “music is the superlative expression of life experience, and woman by the very nature of her position is denied many of the experiences that colour the life of man.” Such was the life of a prodigiously talented woman in the USA during the late 19th century. 


Listen to the beautiful rendition of the song by Emma Kirkby (2014 recording) 



+ Wallis Bird and Spark: demo for the album ‘Visions of Venus, on YouTube -

+ Version with flute replacing the violin part, by Jorg Waschinski and the Meininger Trio (2009) on Spotify:


'A mirage' (Music by Amy Beach, Lyrics by Bertha Ochsner) was first published in 1924:


Now the mountaintop all purple

Rises thro' a mist of silver,

While the moon, a disc of cobwebs,

Shining in the pallid heavens,

Ghostlike thro' the evening shadows.


Now the lofty eucalyptus

Stretches forth its chalky branches

Toward the lovely, lustred heavens,

While the drowsy westwind sighing

Sings the theme of lamentation.


Original song version first published in 1924 by Oliver Dotson & Co. of Boston, with piano, violin and cello accompaniment. ‘A Mirage’ is dedicated to the parents of the librettist, Bertha Ochsner. At the bottom of the first page, the publisher wrote: ‘If the piano accompaniment be used alone (ie without the two string instruments accompanying), only the first two measures should be played as Prelude before the entrance of the voice. The ‘cello obbligato may be omitted.’ This Fullscore Publishing edition includes all bars of the piece; the complete sheet music for the pair of songs (Op. 100) is available with string parts from IMSLP


More info on Amy Beach:

Published biography: Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian : The Life and Work of an American Composer by Adrienne Fried Block. Pub. Oxford University Press, 1998. (Preview:



You might also like the song Morgen! by Richard Strauss,

arranged for solo piano, published by Fullscore.


Amy Beach ~ A Mirage (arr. for piano)

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  • 4 pages - inc. both transpositions - (8 inc. covers)

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