Daffodil Perspective producer Elizabeth de Brito contributed a guest blog for International Florence Price Fest on 10 reasons why Florence Price inspires her.
Read the whole blog here along with other great pieces and information about Florence Price.
|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|
|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|
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:
- Ralph Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending
- Sergei Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No. 2
- Edward Elgar – Enigma Variations
- Ralph Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – 1812 Overture
- Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 5 (‘Emperor’)
- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Swan Lake
- Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 (‘Choral’)
- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – The Nutcracker
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Clarinet Concerto
- Samuel Barber – Adagio for Strings
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Requiem
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – The Magic Flute
- Jean Sibelius – Finlandia
- Gregorio Allegri – Miserere
- Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 7
- Ludwig van Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata
- Edward Elgar – Cello Concerto
- George Frideric Handel – Messiah
- 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?
|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
|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|
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.
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.
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 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.