Women classical composers – the August edition

As is the case with all too many things historical, the talent of women composers is underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them women wrote, and continue to write, exceptional classical music that can be enjoyed today. They deserve more exposure, so it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are two female classical composers whose works I have encountered, with links to music samples for each of them.

Portrait by Bernardo Strozzi, believed to be of Barbara Strozzi

Barbara Strozzi was an Italian Baroque composer. (died 1977)

She was lucky for her time, as her encouraged her musical ambition. She wrote for voice.

Find info on her compositions here

 

Betsy Jolas is a modern French composer. (born 1926)

 

Sally Beamish is a modern British composer of chamber, vocal, choral and orchestral music as well as works for

musical theatre, film and television.  (born 1956)

 

Rebecca Clarke was an English composer. (died 1979)

Her work did not receive the recognition then that it does today and was largely forgotten until the 1970s.

Find info on her here

 

Cécile Chaminade

Cécile Chaminade was a French composer. (died 1944)

She learned piano early in her childhood but her father disapproved of her musical education so she had to continue her studies privately. Her own compositions were very popular in her day.

Find more info on her at AllMusic and on Wikipedia.  

 

Marion Bauer was an American composer. (died 1955)

Marion Bauer

She wrote at least 160 compositions. 

 

Tera de Marez Oyens was a Dutch composer who wrote over 200 works of music. (died 1996)

 

Alma Mahler

Alma Mahler was an Austrian-American composer. Seventeen songs by her survive. (died 1964)

Classical composers – the August edition

I have broad, perhaps somewhat eclectic taste in music. This is by accident rather than design. Most of the genres outside what gets airplay on popular radio I have luckily stumbled upon while on other paths. Our culture doesn’t really expose young people en masse to much more than current popular music, and that’s a shame. I feel like it’s a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are links to 31 works of classical music by composers you’ll find on my iPod, and two links to works by composers most of us would know – all artists born in August, whose works I have enjoyed.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Claude Debussy

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor     

 

  1. Hans Rott     
  2. Arthur Bliss   
  3. Karl Amadeus Hartmann     
  4. Anthony Payne     
  5. Henri Berger      
  6. William Schuman      
  7. Friedrich August Kummer      
  8. James Scott Skinner   
  9. Oskar Merikanto   
  10. Ernesto Lecuona     
  11. Adolf Busch   
  12. Jacques Hétu    

    Salomon Jadassohn
  13. Reynaldo Hahn    
  14. Albert Ketèlbey    
  15.  Alexander Glazunov    
  16. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber     
  17. Salomon Jadassohn
  18.  John Ireland    
  19. Leopold Hofmann     
  20. Jan Koetsier     
  21. Jacques Ibert    
  22. Francesco Canova da Milano      
  23. Ernest MacMillan     
  24. Herman Berlinski     

    George Enescu
  25. George Enescu     
  26. Moritz Moszkowski     
  27. Ernst Krenek     
  28. Constant Lambert    
  29. Stefan Wolpe    
  30. David Maslanka    
  31. Jean-Paul-Égide Martini    

July earworm roundup

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can rarely know what triggers them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Here’s a roundup of my July earworms.

Petula Clark – Kiss Me Goodbye

Alicia Bridges – I Love The Nightlife

Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug

Carmen Lombardo & Grady Martin – Coquette

Johnny Cash – Camptown Races

Manic Street Preachers – Suicide Alley

Kay Starr – Rock and Roll Waltz

Blue Oyster Cult – Godzilla

Dobie Gray – The In Crowd

Spooky Tooth – That was only yesterday

Buddy Knox – Party Doll

The Spencer Davis Group – Keep on Running

Dr Feelgood – Riot In Cell Block No 9

Phoebe Snow – Poetry Man  

Suzanne Vega – Toms Diner

Huey Lewis And The News – I Want A New Drug

The Monks – Drugs in my Pocket

Village People – Go West

Little Feat – Willin 

Heatwave – The Groove Line

Poly Styrene – Virtual Boyfriend

Ratt – Round And Round  (I almost went insane for these few hours)

John Waite – Missing You

Lifehouse – Broken

Joan Osborne – One Of Us

The Champs – Tequila

The Champs – Beatnik

Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville – Don’t Know Much

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

Triumph – Follow Your Heart

Kim Mitchell – Go For Soda

They’re playing our song – two national anthems

Both Canada and the US threw parties in the first week of July. National anthems were a big part of those patriotic celebrations. The anthems were written and chosen purposefully to tell a story, so here’s my little blog about the anthems and the story they tell. 

 

July 1 – Canada Day

July 1 marks marks Canadian confederation – the creation of the nascent dominion of Canada. It’s like a birthday, or maybe a wedding. It marks a becoming, and a coming together.

Interestingly, it was not called Canada Day until 1982. Until then it was called Dominion Day.

The Canadian national anthem – O Canada – was written by Calixa Lavallée. It wasn’t officially our anthem until 1980 but it had been performed and sung as an anthem for decades. It had some early competition in the songs The Maple Leaf Forever by Alexander Muir, and God Save the Queen.

 

July 4 – Independence Day

Americans celebrate their independence day on July 4th. It is a celebration of becoming autonomous from the British Crown. It’s a coming of age party. It marks a becoming, and a breaking of old ties.

The American national anthem is The Star-Spangled Banner, which uses the tune of a popular British song called To Anacreon in Heaven written by John Stafford Smith (is that ironic? maybe? declaring independence from Britain but always celebrating it by singing a British song?) 

 

 

Women classical composers – the July edition

As is the case with all too many things historical, the talent of women composers is underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them women wrote, and continue to write, exceptional classical music that can be enjoyed today. They deserve more exposure, so it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are some female classical composers whose works I have encountered, with links to music samples for each of them.

 

Ruth Crawford Seeger

1) Ruth Crawford Seeger (July 3, 1901 – Nov 18, 1953) (née Ruth Porter Crawford) was a modernist composer and later composed folk music.

 

 

 

 

Pauline Viardot

2) Pauline Viardot (July 18, 1821 – May 18, 1910) (née García)  was a soprano who began composing when she was young.

 

 

 

 

3) Marianna Auenbrugger (July 19, 1759 – Aug 25, 1782) was a well regarded Viennese pianist and composer.

 

 

Sophie Menter, painted by Ilya Repin.

4) Sophie Menter (July 29, 1846 — Feb 23, 1918) was a piano virtuoso and composer.

 

 

 

5) Suzanne Giraud (born 31 July 1958) is a contemporary French composer.

 

 

Sansan Chien, photo by
Wen-Chung Chiang

6) Sansan Chien (July 1, 1967 – Oct 24, 2011) Taiwanese composer. (I used google translate for the song titles so if they’re not perfect I apologize)

 

 

7) Julia Tsenova (July 30, 1948 – April 11, 2010) was a Bulgarian pianist and composer. 

 

 

 

Classical composers – the July edition

I have broad, perhaps somewhat eclectic taste in music. This is by accident rather than design. Most of the genres outside what gets airplay on popular radio I have luckily stumbled upon while on other paths. Our culture doesn’t really expose young people en masse to much more than current popular music, and that’s a shame. I feel like it’s a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are links to 31 works of classical music by composers you’ll find on my iPod, and one link to works by a composer most of us would know – all artists born in June, whose works I have enjoyed.

Gustav Mahler

 

Gustav Mahler 

 

 

  1. László Lajtha 
  2. Hans Werner Henze 
  3. Leoš Janáček  
  4. Hans Werner Henze

    Stephan Krehl  

  5. Jan Kubelík 
  6. Émile Jaques-Dalcroze 
  7. Toivo Kuula  
  8. Percy Grainger 
  9. Ottorino Respighi  
  10. David Diamond  
  11. Leonard Pennario 
  12. Henryk Wieniawski 
  13. Anton Arensky  
  14. Anton Arensky

    Gerald Finzi  

  15. Eugène Ysaÿe  
  16. Niccolò Castiglioni 
  17. Giovanni Bononcini  
  18. Vilém Tauský  
  19. Franz Berwald 
  20. Francesco Cilea  
  21. Edward Gregson  
  22. Alfredo Casella  
  23. John Field 
  24. Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart 
  25. Serge Koussevitzky

    Jāzeps Vītols 

  26. Serge Koussevitzky  
  27. Ernő Dohnányi 
  28. Otar Taktakishvili 
  29. Kimmo Hakola 
  30. Rued Langgaard 
  31. Ignacio Cervantes 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June earworm round-up

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can rarely know what triggers them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Here’s a roundup of my June earworms. Good luck getting them out of your head.

the SweetLittle Willy

SkyhooksWomen In Uniform

Bronski BeatSmalltown Boy

Bay City RollersSaturday Night

.38 SpecialBack where you belong

Shirley & CoShame Shame Shame

Shakespeare’s SisterStay With Me

The SundaysHere’s Where The Story Ends

Paul McCartneySilly Love Songs

Patti Page & Vic DamoneSay Something Sweet To Your Sweetheart

The KinksSuperman

Cyndi LauperShe Bop

The Flamingos – Jump Children

Jimmy JonesHandyman

The RembrandtsI’ll be there for you

Atomic RoosterTomorrow Night

Simply RedSomething Got Me Started

Harry NilssonEverybody’s Talkin’

Billy “Crash” CraddockRuby Baby

Mike & The MechanicsAll I Need Is A Miracle

Guns N’ RosesSweet Child O’ Mine

Jerry KellerHere Comes Summer

Rocky BurnetteTired Of Toein’ The Line

Little River BandLonesome Loser

All About EveOur Summer

Three Dog Night – Shambala

The Psychedelic FursHeaven

T.RexGet It On

Little EvaLoco-motion

Depeche ModeJust Can’t Get Enough

A life in song titles

I did a little music challenge in the early days of Facebook. I haven’t really delved into my love of Tom Waits on this blog, so I thought this would be a good way to demonstrate it.

The challenge was: Answer the following questions using only the one title s of one musical group or artist.

 

PICK YOUR ARTIST: Tom Waits

ARE YOU MALE OR FEMALE: I’m a “Gun Street Girl” for sure, for sure!

DESCRIBE YOURSELF: I am usually “Semi Suite”, but “In the Morning” I am “A Sight for Sore Eyes”.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF: I am a bundle of contradictions: “Baby, I’m Not a Baby Anymore” but “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” either.

DESCRIBE WHERE YOU CURRENTLY LIVE: I live in a quiet neighbourhood – in the “House Where Nobody Lives” at the intersection of “9th & Hennepin” and “Virginia Avenue” “On the Other Side of the World”. I used to live on “Heartattack and Vine” but I relocated on doctor’s orders.

IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD YOU GO: Am I in a “Los Angeles Mood”? Not today. I’ve always wanted to go to “Singapore”. Hmmmmm? “I’ll Take NY” anytime but right now “I Wish I Was in New Orleans (in the Ninth Ward)”.

YOUR FAVOURITE FORM OF TRANSPORTATION: The “Downtown train” of course.

YOUR BEST FRIEND IS: You, my sweet little “Coney Island Baby” (at least “‘Til the Money Runs Out”).

YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR IS: “New Coat of Paint”.

WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE: It’s like a “Flower’s Grave” out there right now. We are experiencing “Strange Weather”; “More Than Rain”. Last night I lay awake thinking “Blow Wind Blow” and in my dreams I imagined the “Earth Died Screaming”. They say “You Can Never Hold Back Spring” but my goodness, Mother Nature seems to be trying her best to just that. Brrrr.

FAVOURITE TIME OF DAY: Well it’s certainly not “Closing Time”.

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A TV SHOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: “Old Shoes (& Picture Postcards)”.

WHAT IS LIFE TO YOU: Wow, that’s a profound question.
Life is kinda like a “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis”, y’know?
You waste so much time “(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night” and “Fumblin’ With the Blues” that you end up with a “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” wondering “How’s It Gonna End”?
You stumble in the dark on the “Lowside of the Road” carrying your “Little Drop of Poison” in a brown paper bag.
But you keep going, drinking one “Jockey Full of Bourbon” after another; then you find a little tavern and “Tango Till They’re Sore” until “Everything Goes to Hell” and they toss you out on your drunken ass “Dragging a Dead Priest” in your wake looking for “Just The Right Bullets” with “$29.00” in your pocket.
You been “Falling Down” more than standin’ up and wonder why it feels like you got “Shore Leave” in a “Town With No Cheer”.
“What Keeps Mankind Alive” if “Misery Is the River of the World” and we’re all “Lost in the Harbour”?
Profound question indeed; what is life? “The Part You Throw Away” man, “The Part You Throw Away”.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE TO GIVE: You are “Innocent When You Dream” so when you feel like you are “Starving in the Belly of a Whale” just buck up and “Whistle Down the Wind”.
It may seem some days like “God’s Away on Business” but “Hold On” and just remember “Jesus Gonna Be Here” soon.
Oh and, “I Never Talk to Strangers”.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE YOUR NAME, WHAT WOULD IT BE: “Martha”  “Rosie” “Muriel” “Georgia Lee” “Alice” “Lucinda” Hoover.

YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD IS: That’s easy – it’s got to be a “Chocolate Jesus”.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “We’re All Mad Here”.

HOW I WOULD LIKE TO DIE: “All Stripped Down” – metaphorically of course 😉

MY SOUL’S PRESENT CONDITION: I used to feel like “Just Another Sucker on the Vine” – but “Lord I Been Changed” by a “Little Trip to Heaven (On the Wings of Your Love)”.

MY MOTTO: “Come On Up to the House”.

My Edmonton Folk Music Festival dozen

I’ve been attending the Edmonton Folk Music Festival for years now, rain and shine.

The quality of music I’ve heard over the years is consistently high, no matter if there is a big name headliner or  not, the quality is always exceptional. It would be way too much work to ran the artists and make a playlist based on my preferences – since they shift daily anyway. So below is a random sampling of a dozen songs by a dozen artists I look forward too seeing at the Folk Festival this year. Could I have included more? Sure. But then what would you have to look forward to?

  1. 100 mile houseHiraeth
  2. AltamedaQueen Of The Street
  3. Amadou & Mariam feat. Manu ChaoSénégal Fast Food
  4. Birds of ChicagoBarley
  5. Cécile Doo-KinguéAnybody Listening
  6. The DecemberistsDon’t Carry It All
  7. Valerie JuneShakedown
  8. Tim WilliamsNobody’s Fault & Poor Boy
  9. Shakey Graves (he was one of my hubby’s favourites when we saw him a couple years back) – Roll the Bones 
  10. The Jerry CansUkiuq
  11. La Santa CeciliaCalaverita
  12. DarlingsideThe God of Loss

I can’t wait to be on the hill again this August.

Women classical composers – the June edition

As is the case with all too many things historical, the talent of women composers is underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them women wrote, and continue to write, exceptional classical music that can be enjoyed today. They deserve more exposure, so it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are two female classical composers whose works I have encountered, with links to music samples for each of them.

Judith Bingham is an English singer and composer.

  • Find some links to her music here.

Helen Tobias-Duesberg was born in Estonia but lived in the US until she passed away in 2010.

  • Find some samples of her music here.