The Daffodil Perspective 30th June 2019

 

Tracklist

Airtime Composer Work Performer Album Label Buy
0 Mendelssohn Fingal’s Cave (Hebrides Overture) Wiener Philharmoniker, Christoph von Dohnanyi Mendelssohn: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 Decca Presto
11.01 Elisabetta Gambarini Sonata No. 1: 1st Mvt Anthony Noble Complete Works for Harpsichord Herald Presto
14.21 Handel See The Conqu’ring Hero Comes from Judas Maccabeus Handel Opera Society Orchestra, Handel Opera Society Chorus, Charles Farncombe World of Handel Decca Presto
18.37 Elisabetta Gambarini Lessons for Harpsichord Op 2: III Anthony Noble Complete Works for Harpsichord Herald Presto
22.15 Arne Rule, Brittania! London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Choral Society, Sir Anrdew Davis Last Night of the Proms Warner Classics Presto
27.13 Boyce Symphony 1: 1st Mvt The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood Boyce: Symphonies 1-8 Decca Presto
30.15 Elisabetta Gambarini Variations on the Foregoing Song: Gige Anthony Noble Complete Works for Harpsichord Herald Presto
33.46 Eleanor Alberga String Quartet 1: 3rd Mvt Ensemble Arcadiana Eleanor Alberga: String Quartets Nos. 1-3 Navona Records Presto
42.27 Florence Price Don’t You Tell Me No Christine Jobson (soprano) Gregory Thompson (piano) Nearly Lost: Art Songs of Florence Price Independent CDBaby
46.51 Teresa Procaccini Tre Pezzi per fagotto e pianoforte, Op. 30: I. Presto – II. Andante – III. Allegro Domenico Losavio & Teresa Procaccini Musica da Camera 1 Edi-Pan-Srl CDBaby
55.01 Tansman Sonatine for Bassoon and Piano Per Hannisdal (bassoon), Vebjørn Anvik (piano) The Lyrical Bassoon 2L CDBaby
1.03.13 Violet Archer Piano Concerto 1: II Christina Petrowska Quilico Archer, Louie and Kuzmenko: 3 Concerti Centrediscs Presto
1.11.07 Larysa Kuzmenko Piano Concerto 1: III Christina Petrowska Quilico Archer, Louie and Kuzmenko: 3 Concerti Centrediscs Presto
1.17.20 Jospehine Lang An den See Heike Hallaschka (soprano), Heidi Kommerell (piano) Josephine Lang – Lieder Audite Presto
1.23.05 Thomas Jefferson Anderson Squares: An Essay for Orchestra Baltimor Symphony Orchestra, Paul Freeman Black Composer Series, Vol. 8: Olly Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Jefferson Anderson, Jr. & Talib Rasul Hakim Sony Presto

The Daffodil Perspective 26th May 2019

 

Tracklist

Airtime Composer Work Performer Album Label Buy
0 Marcello. A Oboe Concerto in D Minor 1st Mvt Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Festin Baroque Analekta Presto
5.16 Lucija Garuta Prelude II in E Major Reinis Zarins Lucija Garuta: Music for Piano SKANI Presto
8.55 Vitols Fantasy on Latvian Folk Tunes Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Dmitri Yablonsky Vitols: Orchestral Works Marco Polo Presto
16.32 Lucija Garuta Lord, Thy Land is Burning, Our Father State Choir Latvia and Maris Sirmais Our Father, Lord Thy Land is Burning – Single Estonian Record Productions iTunes
21.38 Ivanovs 5th Symphony 3rd Mvt Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Dmitri Yablonsky Ivanovs: Symphonies 5 & 12 Marco Polo Presto
28.44 Kalējs Prayer Iveta Apkalna Light & Dark Berlin Classics Presto
36.48 Lucija Garuta Piano Concerto 2nd Movement In Memoriam Atvars Lakstīgala, Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, Reinis Zariņš Lucija Garuta: Music for Piano SKANI Presto
46.58 Chihchun Chi-sun Lee Quartet for Mallets McCormick Percussion Group Vanguards 1 Ravello Records Presto
56.48 Florence Price 2nd Violin Concerto Er-Gene Kahng, Janacek Philharmonic, Ryan Cockerham Florence Price: Violin Concertos Albany Presto
1.11.38 Samuel Coleridge Taylor Pilgrim’s Song David Shaffer Gottschalk COLERIDGE-TAYLOR, S.: 24 Negro Melodies (Shaffer-Gottschalk) Albany Presto
1.15.22 Camilla de Rossi La Vita De Mare Ondoso from Sant Alessio Agnieszka Kowalezyk (soprano) Daniela Dolci (harpsichord & direction) Musica Fiorita Rossi, C: Sant‘ Alessio Pan Classics Presto
1.19.45 Mathilde Von Kralik Komm Mit Mir/Come With Me Donald George, Lucy Muaro Komm mit mir! (Come with me!) Romantic Songs of Mathilde von Kralik (1857-1944) Delos Presto
1.22.43 Caroline Shaw Valencia Attacca Quartet Orange Nonesuch/NewAmsterdam Presto
1.29.01 Gershwin Prelude No. 3 in E Flat Major Jean-Hisanori Sugitani (piano), Julien Herve (clarinet) Waiting for Benny Naxos Presto

Classic FM Hall of Fame 2019 – Where are all the women?

The Classic FM Hall of Fame is the biggest poll of classical music tastes in the UK but is it really listeners’ choice?  Where are all the women and why?

. These are the top 20:

  1. Ralph Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending
  2. Sergei Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No. 2
  3. Edward Elgar – Enigma Variations
  4. Ralph Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
  5. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – 1812 Overture
  6. Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 5 (‘Emperor’)
  7. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Swan Lake
  8. Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 (‘Choral’)
  9. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – The Nutcracker
  10. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Clarinet Concerto
  11. Samuel Barber – Adagio for Strings
  12. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Requiem
  13. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – The Magic Flute
  14. Jean Sibelius – Finlandia
  15. Gregorio Allegri – Miserere
  16. Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 7
  17. Ludwig van Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata
  18. Edward Elgar – Cello Concerto
  19. George Frideric Handel – Messiah
  20. Edvard Grieg – Peer Gynt

See the full list here.

Let’s be honest were there any real surprises here?

Why are these the most popular pieces every year?

Are these pieces really the most popular or just the pieces that Classic FM plays the most?

There’s a constant rhetoric that only the best gets voted into these types of polls.

No-ones arguing that any of these 20 pieces are anything less than stunning. Of course they are but if that is all listeners are exposed to then why expect them to pick anything else?

There were only 10 new additions to the list and none of these were in the top 100. The highest ranked was 163 so the most popular 100 pieces of music have barely changed in at least 1 year, the top 100 were definitely all in the Hall of Fame last year, probably the year before.

The only piece written by a woman was Debbie Wiseman’s The Glorious Garden, which just made it in at No. 287.

There are so many arguments about the lack of women in classical music. Women didn’t write any classical music, women didn’t write good classical music, women didn’t write music that ‘measures up to the ‘greats’.

All of this is wrong. There’s research that demonstrates that women have always been composing classical music and tons of recordings that show they have and are doing an first class job of it.

But for all this new information how many times in 2018 did Classic FM play Florence Price’s Symphony 1 or Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers or Galina Ustvolskaya’s Piano Sonata No. 6? Or any of the other thousands (and there are thousands) of exquisite, earth shattering, beautiful pieces of music written by women?

Maybe we could decide for ourselves what measures up to the greats if we actually heard some of it.

Research conducted by Donne Women In Music last year revealed that music by women features in just 2% of concerts across the world. Full stats here.

If that’s the international average and Classic FM are similar then that’s 98% of all music played on the station written by men.

How can we judge music fairly if we are not exposed to it?

Answer – we cannot. We cannot make judgements on music we don’t hear.

Don’t Classic FM (and the BBC, LPO, Wigmore Hall etc) have a responsibility to educate their listeners?

Is it just about playing the same pieces that the audience expect to hear or can they do more?

Surely part of the reason to listen to a radio station is to be educated, be inspired, be exposed to more music than the audience would usually hear.

Radio airplay has always been one of the biggest factors in determining the pop music charts. People would turn on Radio 1, listen to a song by Kylie or Spice Girls or Oasis, love it and immediately go out and buy it. Even in today’s age of digital music, YouTube, Spotify and iTunes there is still an element of this. Radio plays a smaller but still significant role, as well as these other mediums in promoting new, unknown music to the public and creating an audience.

Why can’t it work with classical music? Why can’t we turn on to Classic FM Drive and hear music we wouldn’t hear otherwise?

If Classic FM make decisions about what audiences want to hear based on these biased polls then nothing will ever change, which it hasn’t.

Also it can’t just be about ‘what the audiences want to hear’. We don’t always know what we want to hear. I had no idea I wanted to hear Elizabeth Maconchy’s String Quartet No. 6 until I heard it and it changed my world.

We listen to radio and go to concerts because we assume the people running them know more than us. They work in music, spending all their time listening and researching interesting music, paying attention to what’s hot right now so we don’t have to. We listen to have our minds blown by fantastic music. If Classic FM and other organisations don’t programme music by women how can we be expected to vote for it on these polls?

Classic FM is a big influencer of taste.

I was chatting to a current Guildhall School of Music student a few months ago and he didn’t agree with playing more women composers because we’d be ‘neglecting the men.’

Bachtrack stats says in 2017 there were 17,741 concert performances. Of those performances around 3000 performances were of each of the top (most performed) composers – Mozart, Beethoven and Bach.  So allowing for overlap that’s somewhere between 3,000 and 9,000 performances. 3000 performances – that’s around 15% of all concerts featuring one of just 3 composers, the likely statistic is somewhere between 15% and 52%. Either end of the scale that is a huge amount of performances for just 3 composers, given how much awesome classical music there is, to focus just on those 3 is incredibly limiting.

Let’s be clear here, even if Beethoven was played half the amount that he is now it would still not come anywhere near neglect. And of course it wouldn’t make his work any less awesome or popular, His Piano Concerto No. 5 will always be brilliant and I’ll always love it, as will many other people.

Why can’t a balance exist between playing the old, familiar classics and awesome, unfamiliar music. A mix of what we want to hear and music that we don’t know but Classic FM think we will like.

There is a ton of phenomenal music out there from the whole history of classical music and the internet has made it easier than ever before to find it. There are vast numbers of recordings of music by women that are easy to find on iTunes, PrestoClasssical, Amazon and Spotify. So many resources available for Classic FM to use.

So what now? Will Classic FM continue to justify playing nothing but the same music year after year by using biased data like these polls?

Or can Classic FM exert their power as a major influencer of taste, creating more balanced programming and exposing the massive amount of awesome classical music written by women?

Will the Hall of Fame 2020 tell a different story?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daffodil Perspective 21st April 2019

 

Tracklist

Airtime Composer and Work Performer(s) Album Label Link To Buy
0 Alexis Ffrench – Bluebird Alexis Ffrench (piano) Reborn Sony Presto
4.5 Galina Ustvolskaya Trio for clarinet, violin and piano 3rd Mvt Harmen de Boer, Vera Beths, Reinbert de Leeuw Ustvolskaya: Trio For Violin, Clarinet And Piano hat[now]ART Presto
11.06 Shostakovich – String Quartet No. 5 Artemis Quartet Shostakovich: String Quartet Nos. 5, 7 & Piano Quintet Erato Presto
23.02 Sviridov – Snowstorm Troika and Waltz The USSR TV and Radio Large Symphony Orchestra
Vladimir Fedoseyev
Gyorgy Sviridov: The Snowstorm, Pushkin’s Garland & Three Choruses Alto Presto
30.32 Galina Ustvolskaya – Composition No. 1 Dona Nobis Pacem Schonberg Ensemble, Reinbert de Leeuw Ustvolskaya: Compositions 1-3 Philips Presto
38.21 Tischenko – Symphony No. 6 Echo Valentina Yuzvenko (soprano), Elena Rubin (contralto) Symphony Orchestra of the USSR Ministry of Culture, Gennady Rozhdestvensky Tishchenko: Symphony No. 6 Northern Flowers Presto
44.28 Galina Ustvolskaya – Piano Sonata No. 6 Natalia Andreeva (piano) Russian Piano Music Series Volume 11 – Galina Ustvolskaya Divine Art Recordings Presto
53.4 Florence Price – Dances In The Canebrakes Tropical Noon William Chapman Nyaho (piano)] Asa: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent (Volume 2) MSR Classics Presto
58.32 Roux – Preludes in African Rhythm Township Guitar William Chapman Nyaho (piano)] Asa: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent (Volume 2) MSR Classics Presto
1.04.19 Ylva Skog – Blood Moon from Moon Pieces Ann Sofi Klingberg (piano) Tarrodi & Skog: Piano Pieces dB Productions Presto
1.11.30 Rachel Leach – Out Of Town Amy Van Walsum (soprano) Out Of Town Independent Amyvanwalsum.com
1.15.47 Thea Musgrave – Suite o’ Bairnsongs Amy Van Walsum (soprano) Out Of Town Independent Amyvanwalsum.com
1.18.20 Elaine Hugh-Jones – Old Woman At The Flower Show (The Comford Cycle) Amy Van Walsum (soprano) Out Of Town Independent Amyvanwalsum.com
1.20.28 Takemitsu – Rain Tree Sketch I and II Kotaro Fukuma (piano) Takemitsu: Piano Music Naxos Presto

The Daffodil Perspective 26th March 2019

So much exciting music on the show to share this week.

Composer Of The Week – Henriette Renie

Exploring her life and work along with friends Pierne and Grandjany.

Music from Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and wind band music from Nigel Hess

Fun With Florence

1st in a new monthly segment celebrating the life, work and legacy of Florence Price. This week featuring a very special recording by Samantha Ege.

Contemporary Corner

This week showcasing brand new song cycle Cracked Voices by Jenni Pinnock.

Album Of The Week

Something new this week, instead of 1 album I have 3 amazing new releases, each of a single composer.

pjimage

 

 

Fun With Florence

One year ago today I heard the music of Florence Price for the first time and my world changed forever.

In my eyes Florence Price is simply the greatest composer of all time. It’s not just her music, which is the most beautiful I’ve ever heard, Florence Price fought against every possible prejudice and tackled every injustice. Her perseverance and stamina is astounding in addition to the wide range of mediums for which she wrote. Not only this but both she and I are mixed race women and I can’t help feel a connection.  Florence Price is an inspiration, she will always be my role model and guiding light.

To celebrate this important anniversary I’m introducing a new monthly segment on my show called Fun With Florence. On the 4th week of every month, starting this Tuesday, I’ll be playing one of her incredible pieces and talking about this phenomenal person. I’ll be exploring her life, work, accomplishments and the myriad of reasons why she inspires me and many other people around the world.

On Tuesday I’m starting with a very special recording from pianist and fellow Price champion Samantha Ege.

In the meantime the first piece of Florence Price I heard was her Symphony in. E Minor.

A-Z of classical composers – gender equal edition

A few days ago John Suchet at the BBC tweeted about composers whose names begin with B. The names he mentioned were super obvious male composers – Beethoven, Brahms, Bach and Bizet. Naturally members of the community working for gender equality, myself included, had a rant at him and replied with the names of awesome female composers whose names also begin with B. Names we mentioned included Beach, Bacewicz, Boulanger, Bonis, Bosmans and lots more.

I decided to take this a few steps further and create a gender equal alphabet of classical composers.

This is the result, an A-Z of awesome classical composers. Every one of them has written lots of awesome music.

A is for Lera Auerbach and Albinoni

B is for Bach and Amy Beach

C is for Cecile Chaminade and Chopin

D is for Debussy and Alma Deutscher

E is for Rosalind Ellicott and Elgar

F is for Faure and Louise Farrenc

G is for Ruth Gipps and Glass

H is for Handel and Augusta Holmes

I is for Adina Izarra and Ives

J is for Jenkins and Betsy Jolas

K is for Larysa Kuzmenko and Khachaturian

L is for Liszt and Elisabeth Lutyens

M is for Marianna Martines and Mozart

N is for Nielson and Olga Neuwirth

O is for Morfydd Owen and Offenbach

P is for Puccini and Florence Price

Q is for Marie Quinalt and Quilter

R is for Rachmaninov and Priaulx Rainier

S is for Ethel Smyth and Saint Saens

T is for Tchaikovsky and Joan Tower

U is for Galina Ustvolskaya and Uematsu

V is for Vaughan Williams and Pauline Viardot

W is for Judith Weir and Wagner

X is for Xenakis and Qu Xixian

Y is for Chen Yi and Ysaye

Z is for Hans Zimmer and Gaziza Zhubanova

Playlist to follow shortly.