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Standard Bearers

feat. Louise Farrenc, Maria Hester Park, Barbara Strozzi, Clara Schumann & Nadia Boulanger

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This week Grammofy presents the first of two collections devoted to women composers.

This first is devoted to historical figures, and we'll follow it with one showcasing the women composers alive and at work today. We've called this one Standard Bearers, rather than going down the lines of “early pioneers” or “going against the grain”, because we want to emphasise the fact that, whilst these five are certainly inspirational today as women who were strong and independent enough to pursue composing when few women were, they were also respected names in their time whose music and music making transcended talk of their gender. And that, ultimately, is what it's all about. Just good music. From our perspective as curators, this first one was probably the hardest to put together, just in terms of finding high quality recordings we were happy offering up to you, because although things are improving, the recordings back catalogue is not groaning under the weight of music from historical female composers. That's probably partly because there were fewer women composing in a prominent way in previous centuries, and it tends to be only the edited jewels from each century that survive into posterity. Also fewer women wrote large scale instrumental or choral works in previous centuries, for societal reasons, and that will have also had an impact on their posthumous reputations. However, every single one of the composers featured in this collection was a prominent musical figure of their own time, and importantly, beyond their gender as a woman. One further thought to leave you with before we begin is this: wouldn't it be interesting to know how much of the world's famous, loved but unattributed folk music and song was composed by women. We suspect it might be a hefty proportion…

Curation: Charlotte Gardner

Speaker: Charlotte Gardner

  • Standard Bearers

  • An introduction to Farrenc — Symphony No. 3 in g minor op. 36

  • Symphony No. 3 in g minor op. 36 Preview Only

    Louise Farrenc

    Johannes Goritzki, Radiophilharmonie Hannover des NDR1998
  • An introduction to Park — Piano Sonata in F major op. 4 No. 1

  • Piano Sonata in F major op. 4 No. 1 Preview Only

    Maria Hester Park

    Betty Ann Miller1996
  • An introduction to Strozzi — Aria op. 8

  • Aria op. 8 Preview Only

    Barbara Strozzi

    Roberta Invernizzi, bizzarrie armoniche2001
  • An introduction to Schumann, C — Piano Trio in g minor op. 17

  • Piano Trio in g minor op. 17 Preview Only

    Clara Schumann

    Voces Intimae2014
  • An introduction to Boulanger — Fantasy

  • Fantasy Preview Only

    Nadia Boulanger

    David Greilsammer2009