2019 releases of women composers

Looking for new releases of women composers?

Check out this spreadsheet listing every 2019 recording featuring exclusively women composers. All with links to listen and buy!

There are so many amazing recordings out this year of contemporary women composers and historical women composers. (Although still a shamefully tiny fraction of the number recorded of male composers)

The purpose is:

  1. To provide information for anyone interested in discovering more music written by women
  2. To provide inspiration for anyone working in classical music to program a more diverse repertoire.

 

Spotted one that’s missing? Drop me a message on the Contact page and I’ll add it.

The Daffodil Perspective 19th May 2019

 

Tracklist

Time Composer Work Performer Album Label Buy
0 Williams Theme from Sabrina John Williams Sabrina: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack A&M Records Amazon
5.22 Rachel Portman Theme from Emma Royal Scottish National Orchestra Hollywood 96 Varese Sarabande Amazon
8.46 Rachel Portman Chocolat Main Titles Rachel Portman Chocolat (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Sony Classical Amazon
12.29 Rachel Portman Belle Main Titles, This is Portrait Revealed City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra Belle (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Varese Sarabande Amazon
16.49 Verdina Shlonsky Pages From The Diary Fidan Aghayeva Edler Verbotene Klänge: Sechs Suiten Kreuzberg Records Amazon
29.57 Hailstork Symphony 3 1st Mvt Grand Rapids Symphony, David Lockington Hailstork Symphonies 2 & 3 Naxos Presto
43.05 Edie Hill From The Wingbone of a Swan II Source The Crossing, Donald Nally Clay Jug PARMA Recordings Presto
49.41 Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D Minor 1st Mvt Gian Luca Petrucci (flute), János Devich (cello), Jenő Jandó (piano) Farrenc & Mendelssohn: Flute Trios Tudor Presto
1.00.08 Louise Farrenc Piano Trio in E Minor 1st Mvt Gian Luca Petrucci (flute), János Devich (cello), Jenő Jandó (piano) Farrenc & Mendelssohn: Flute Trios Tudor Presto
1.10.58 Alakotila Concerto Grosse Oeverture Paul Taylor OrCHestra Alphorn & Nordic Winds Solo Musica Presto
1.19.58 Sanna Kurki Suoni Tass On Neinen Paul Taylor OrCHestra Alphorn & Nordic Winds Solo Musica Presto
1.27.16 Jarre Dr Zhivago Lara’s Theme Cinema Stage Orchestra Doctor Zhivago RKO Music Amazon

The Daffodil Perspective 6th May 2019

 

The Daffodil Perspective is 6 months old. 6 months of celebrating women composers and championing gender equality. Join me for a special episode with tons of awesome music.

Airtime Composer Work Performer Album Label Link to Buy
0 Walters Primavera Overture Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Andrew Penny Welsh Classical Favourites Marco Polo Presto
8.14 Andrea Tarrodi Lume Allmanna Sangen, Maria Goundorina Femina Moderna BIS Presto
15.52 Andrea Tarrodi Camelopardalis Vasteras Sinfonietta Tarrodi: Orchestral Works dB Productions Presto
25.21 Andrea Tarrodi String Quartet No. 2 (Madardal) Dahlkvist Quartet Tarrodi: String Quartets dB Productions Presto
32.19 Magle Rising of a New Day Radio Underholdnings Orkestar Lys På Din Vej EMI Classics Amazon
39.43 Morfydd Owen 4 Welsh Impressions Kesia Decote (piano) N/A Independent (Illuminate Women’s Music)
48.29 Hovhaness And God Created Great Whales Seattle Symphony Orchestra Alan Hovhaness: Mysterious Mountain Delos Presto
1.01.42 Keyna Wilkins Floating in Space Keyna Wilkins Orbits and Riffs Independent Bandcamp
1.07.48 Muhly Balance Problems yMusic Balance Problems Independent Bandcamp
1.16.08 Alica Needham Daughters of England Suffrage Sinfonia, Kantos Chamber Choir, Alice Farnham Lost Women of Music ABC Classics Presto
1.19.35 Susan Spain Dunk Phantasy Quartet Suffrage Sinfonia, Alice Farnham Lost Women of Music ABC Classics Presto
1.23.18 Ethel Smyth March of the Women Suffrage Sinfonia, Kantos Chamber Choir, Alice Farnham Lost Women of Music ABC Classics Presto
1.27.39 Tristano Circle Song Francesco Tristano Piano Circle Songs Sony Presto

The Daffodil Perspective 28th April 2019

Tracklist

Airtime Composer Work Performer Album Link to Buy
0.00 Sinding The Rustle of Spring Eva Knardahl (piano) Great Norwegian Performers 1945-2000 (Simax 2008) Presto
3.49 Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre Harpsichord Suite no 1 in D minor Allemande Elisabetta Guglielmin (harpsichord) Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre Pieces De Clavecin (Aavea 2017) Presto
7.29 Couperin Pieces De Clavecin 1 in G Major Menuet Et Double Lawrence Cummings (harpsichord) Couperin: Music for Harpsichord Vol 1 (Naxos 1997) Presto
11.08 Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre Cephale et Procris Overture Peter Sykes (harpsichord) Na’ama Lion (baroque flute) Protegee Of The Sun King Music by Jacquet de la Guerre (Centaur 2005) Presto
15.58 Marchand Harpsichord Suite in D Minor Davitt Moroney (harpsichord) Le Clavecin Français: Louis Marchand & Louis-Nicolas Clérambault (Plectra Music 2007) CDBaby
19.20 Marais 2nd Suite for Viol Allemande Anne Gallet, Hopkinson Smith, Jordi Savall Marin Marais: Pieces for Viol from the Five Books (Heritage 2010) Presto
23.04 Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre Violin Sonata No. 6 Adagio Les Dominos Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre: Sonatas for violin and basso continuo (Ricercar 2011) Presto
28.19 Dorothy Howell Lamia Karelia Philharmonic Orchestra British Orchestral Premieres (Lyrita 2018) Presto
43.56 Bax Tintagel Royal Scottish National Orchestra Bax: Symphony No. 7 et al(Naxos 2003) Presto
59.23 Andrea Reinkemeyer In The Speaking Silence Post Haste Reed Duo Donut Robot (Aerocade Music 2019) Bandcamp
1.09.13 Josephine Lang An Der See Heike Hallaschka (soprano) Heidi Kommerrell (piano) Josephine Lang: Lieder (Audite 2003) Amazon
1.15.13 Grazyna Bacewicz Piano Sonata No. 2 3rd Mvt Morta Grigliunaite (piano) Bacewicz: Piano Music (Piano Classics 2019) Presto
1.19.47 Victoria Bond Instruments of Revelation High Priestess Chicago Pro Musica Victoria Bond: Instruments of Revelation (Naxos American Classics 2019) Presto
1.25.37 Piazzolla Libertango Moscow Chamber Orchestra Showpieces & Encores (Delos 2002) 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?