Democracy and our rights, that earlier generations fought and went to prison to obtain, are fragile and always need to be looked after closely. Ethel Smyth’s life and terrific music serve as a good reminder to us all that we need to be ready to stand up and make our voices heard in order to make change happen. (19mins)… Listen
American composer Amy Beach was so popular that her followers held ‘Beach Clubs’ to play and listen to her music!
Her Quartet for strings is lean and powerful, as well as being a great jump-off to the world of string quartets: a place fraught with danger for the players, where composers go to bare their souls. Take a listen and join the Beach Club! (21 mins)… Listen
You almost certainly won’t have heard this great piece or have heard of its writer. Henriëtte Bosman’s wrote her Concert Piece for violin and orchestra for her fiancé, who died before he could play it. Violinist Marina Solarek, tells the story of an amazing, passionate woman, a life and career interrupted by the Nazis, her intense and passionate concerto, and why it’s still so hard to hear great music by women composers. And the great music shows us that we’re missing out. Listening time 36 mins… Listen
Some music conjures up a sense of place perfectly and no one has done it better than in Benjamin Britten’s depiction of the Suffolk coast of England. Bleak, angry, foreboding and special – this is Four Sea Interludes from the opera Peter Grimes. Listening time: 23 mins [Intro podcast 7′, Music 16′]… Listen
Burgeoning Spring, Love and Fate: Carmina Burana
They say you never forget your first loves and one of mine was Carmina Burana – it’s immediate and high impact. Even before I was properly into music I was into this… and you will be too! There’s really nothing like the sound of a huge choir and orchestra: it’s awesome stuff! Listening time: 35mins … Listen