While the majority of the classical music world is losing their s**t over Beethoven’s upcoming 250th birthday, let’s remember there are 5 other very important birthdays we should be celebrating this year.
- Barbara Strozzi’s 400th birthday
Barbara Strozzi, baptised 6th August 1619, was one of the first women to publish under her own name. Strozzi was said to be the most prolific composer of secular vocal music in Venice at the time, she was also an accomplished singer. Her music is simply stunning, full of poise and precisely written.
2. Clara Schumann’s 200th birthday
The infinitely cooler member of the Schumann family turns 200 on 13th September 2019. Clara Schumann was a brilliant composer and one of the first virtuoso pianists in the world. She toured all over Europe, was at the very epicentre of the European music scene, knew anyone who was anyone and was hugely influential, Brahms was said to be madly in love with her. For much of her life she was the chief breadwinner in the Schumann family. She maintained a busy concert tour schedule all while being pregnant most of the time and caring for an increasingly ill husband. Her compositions, while comparatively few, are masterpieces of the Romantic era, full of drama and passion. Her output includes a piano concerto, piano sonata, tons of songs, trios and romances.
3. Galina Ustvolskaya’s 100th birthday
Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya (17th June 1919 – 22nd December 2006) would be 100 this year. Dubbed ‘The Lady with the Hammer’ her music was said to have “the concentrated light of a laser beam that is capable of piercing metal.” Ustvolskaya wrote immensely heartfelt pieces which initially seem brutal and harsh but are deeply moving. Her teacher Shostakovich said of her: “It is not you who are under my influence, it is I who am under yours.” She publicly acknowledged 21 pieces she wrote from 1944 to 1988, disregarding the Soviet patriotic pieces she was grudgingly forced to write. These 21 pieces include 6 piano sonatas, 5 symphonies and chamber music with various unusual but effective instrument combinations. This Composition No. 1 was written for piccolo, tuba and piano.
4. Rebecca Clarke’s Viola Sonata turns 100!
The poor viola is the middle child of the string family, stuck between the ever popular, (overused?) violin and the low, mellow cello, somewhat the hipster instrument of the orchestra. Rebecca Clarke was a violist though so it was only fitting for her that she write a true masterpiece for her instrument. I give you her Viola Sonata, premiered at the Berkshire Music Festival in 1919.
5. Dorothy Howell’s Lamia turns 100!
Dorothy Howell’s symphonic poem Lamia was premiered by Sir Henry Wood at the Proms on 10th September 1919, he liked it so much he conducted it at the Proms 4 times in the next 8 years. In this centenary year get down to the Proms on 22nd August to hear it performed live by CBSO and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
So there you have it – 5 other important birthdays we should be celebrating this year.
And that’s just the historical composers. Groundbreaking film score and electronic composer Wendy Carlos turns 80 this year and Eleanor Alberga celebrates her 70th birthday.
One final note – celebrating means a special occasion, doing something out of the ordinary. Beethoven is the most performed composer every year, along with Mozart and Bach. Most concert seasons feature around 10% Beethoven. In 2017 out of 17,741 performances, 3,000 of those were Beethoven (according to Bachtrack, full stats here.) That’s 16%! Hundreds of incredible composers across the world and Beethoven makes up 16% of all performances! 2019 is the same boring percentage of Beethoven they trot out every year, hardly extraordinary.
It’s like when your parents take you to McDonalds for your birthday as a child. It’s such a rare treat and it tastes so good. Then when you leave home you get Maccy D’s every Friday night at 1 o’clock on the way back from the pub. Suddenly it doesn’t taste that good. It does the trick alright, I mean it fills you up but that lovely taste, that memorable connection just isn’t there anymore.
Let’s bring back that loving feeling. 8 months into The Daffodil Perspective radio show and I’ve played Beethoven once. There’s so much other awesome music out there. let’s celebrate it all.
Elizabeth de Brito
The Daffodil Perspective Producer
|0||Fela Sowande||African Suite 1. Joyful Day||Chicago Sinfonietta, Paul Freeman||African Heritage Symphonic Series Vol 1||Cedille Records||Presto|
|4.25||Keiko Abe||Dream of the Cherry Blossoms||Katarzyna Mycka (marimba)||Marimba Spiritual||Audite||Presto|
|10.25||Yuyama||Divertimento for Marimba and Alto Saxophone||Daniella Ganeva (marimba) Simon Harum||Time for Marimba||Signum||Presto|
|14.15||Sueyoshi||Mirage||Cornelia Monske||Percussion Concertante||Audite||Presto|
|22.07||Keiko Abe||Wind Sketch for Solo marimba||Bogdan Bacanu||Marimba D’Amore: Works by Keiko Abe||Classic Concert Records||Presto|
|28.57||Miki||Marimba Spiritual||Keiko Abe, Kroumata Percussion Ensemble||Japanese Percussion||BIS||Presto|
|36.4||Keiko Abe||Marimba D’Amore||Bogdan Bacanu||Marimba D’Amore: Works by Keiko Abe||Classic Concert Records||Presto|
|49||Francesca Lebrun||Violin Sonata in F major, Op. 1, No. 3 1. Allegro||Dana Maiben (violin )& Monica Jakuc (fortepiano)||Sonatas (6) for fortepiano and violin, Op. 1||Presto|
|55.32||Danzi||Concertante for flute, clarinet & orchestra Op. 41||ames Galway (flute), Sabine Meyer (clarinet), Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Jörg Faerber, J||Franz Danzi: Concertos, Op. 31 & Op. 41||RCA||Presto|
|1.02.24||Ronnie Reshef||Ambiguous Kafka instrumental Suite||Old Stories New Ensemble, Baritone: Seth Gilman, Violin: Brendan Speltz, Clarinet: Ben Ringer, Tuba: Matt Muszinski||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|1.08.38||Clara Schumann||Piano Concerto in A Minor||Isata Kanneh Mason, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra||Romance: The Piano Music of Clara Schumann||Decca||Presto|
|1.16.20||Marilena Zlatanou||5 Sketches||Ensemble Chaminade||The Other Half Of Music||Dynamic||Presto|
|1.24.27||Adriana Figuorea Mañas||Tangominioatures 1. Nostalgias||Ensemble Chaminade||The Other Half Of Music||Dynamic||Presto|
|1.29.37||Chopin||Prelude No. 7 in A||Murray Perahia||Murray Perahia plays Chopin||Sony||Presto|
|0||Ulysses Kay||Overture to Theater Set||Chicago Sinfonietta, Paul Freeman||African Heritage Symphonic Series Vol 2||Cedille||Presto|
|5.35||Elfrida Andree||Organ Symphony No.2 4th Mvt||Massingsensemble, Ralph Gustafsson, Ragnar Bohlin||Elfrida Andree Organ Works||Swedish Society||Presto|
|10.57||Norman||Symphony No. 1 3rd Mvt||National Symphony Orchestra of South Africa, Mika Eichenholz||Ludvig Norman: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3||Sterling||Presto|
|18.1||Elfrida Andree||Symphony No. 2 3rd Mvt||Stockholm Symphony Orchestra, Gustaf Sjökvist||Elfrida Andrée: Fritiof Suite & Symphony in A minor||Sterling||Presto|
|24.16||Stenhammar||String Quartet No. 3 2nd Mvt||Gotland Quartet||Stenhammar: String Quartets||Caprice||Presto|
|29.5||Alfven||Swedish Rhapsody No. 1 Midsommervaka||Orchestra Symphonique de Montreal, Charles Dutoit||Rhapsodies||Decca||Presto|
|42.37||Elfrida Andree||Fritiof’s Suite: Prelude||Stockholm Symphony Orchestra, Gustaf Sjökvist||Elfrida Andrée: Fritiof Suite & Symphony in A minor||Sterling||Presto|
|53.03||Jennifer Bernard Merkowitz||The Best of Both Worlds||Suzanne Newcombe, Steven Wedell||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|1.05.22||Chen Yi||Spring Festival||Rutgers Wind Ensemble, Rutgers Symphonic Band, William Berz||Distinguished Music for the Developing Band, Vol. 10||Mark Records||Presto|
|1.08.30||Toshio Mashima||Naval Bleu||Showa Wind Symphony, Eugene Migliaro Corporon||Dancing Winds||Cafua Records||Presto|
|1.13.07||Catharina von Rennes||Vocal Quartets Op. 24 No. 5||Dufy String Quartet, Frans van Ruth, Christa Pfeiler, Irene Maessen||Six Dutch Female Composers||NM||Presto|
|1.15.39||Elisabeth Kuyper||6 Lieder, Op. 17 No. 5||Dufy String Quartet, Frans van Ruth, Christa Pfeiler, Irene Maessen||Six Dutch Female Composers||NM||Presto|
|1.18.52||Erika Fox||Malinconia Militaire 4th Mvt (Poem)||Goldfield Ensemble, Richard Uttley, Richard Baker||Paths||NMC Recordings||Presto|
|1.22.49||Lamothe||La Dangereuse||William Chapman Nyaho||Asa: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent Volume 2||MSR Classics||Presto|
|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|