Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day Playlist: A Sampling of Women Composers

Lili Boulanger: Psalm 24 (had she not died at 25, she'd have been one of the great composers of the 20th century)

Lili Boulanger: Faust et Helene

Lili Boulanger: Psalm 130

Nadia Boulanger: Fantasie for Piano and Orchestra (similarly gifted to her sister, but she stifled her gift to teach many of the greatest musicians of the century: including George Antheil, Burt Bacharach, Daniel Barenboim, Marc Blitztein, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, Clifford Curzon, Irving Fine, John Eliot Gardiner, Philip Glass, Adolphus Hailstork, Roy Harris, Ralph Kirkpatrick, Robert Levin, Dinu Lipatti, Igor Markevitch, Gian Carlo Menotti, Ginette Neveu, Astor Piazzola, Roger Sessions, Elie Siegmeister, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Henryk Szeryng, Virgil Thomson, and Antoni Wit. Both Stravinsky and Boulez would consult her for suggestions about their compositions)

Amy Beach: Gaelic Symphony

Ruth Crawford Seeger: Suite no. 2 for Four Stringed Instruments and Piano (yes, related to Pete and Bob, She was also more gifted than either :) )

Ruth Crawford Seeger: Three Chants for Female Chorus

Ruth Crawford Seeger: The Music for Small Orchestra

Ellen Taafe Zwillich: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (one of my favorite contemporary American composers)

Ellen Taafe Zwillich: Septet for Piano Trio and String Quartet

Kaija Saariaho: Stilleben (she's probably the most hailed contemporary composer who's a woman. However, she's not my favorite. For that, see Zwillich and Ustvolskaya, who technically died in 2006, but ultimately I prefer her to Gubaidulina)

Meredith Monk: Dolmen Music (a composer whose great music is great and whose other music is... well... not)

Meredith Monk: Turtle Dreams

Libby Larsen: Mephisto Rag (more light-hearted, but extremely enjoyable)

Libby Larsen: Barn Dance

Sarah Kirkland Snider: Penelope (an extremely promising up and comer)

Shulamit Ran: Vessels of Courage and Hope

Sofia Gubaidulina: Viola Concerto (by common consensus, she will probably be the first composer who is a woman in nine-hundred years to enter the 'canon' of great composers)

Sofia Gubaidulina: Seven Last Words

Sofia Gubaidulina: Two Paths

Sofia Gubaidulina: Light at the End

Galina Ustvolskaya: Symphony no. 5 "Amen" (The Twentieth Century belongs to Russian music, and Galina Ustvolskaya was a composer to whom the great Dimitri Shostakovich wrote "people will say that your music is influenced by mine, but that is not true. My music is influenced by yours.")

Galina Ustvolskaya: Grand Duet for Cello and Piano

Galina Ustvolskaya: Fifth Piano Sonata

Barbara Strozzi: Che si puo fare (a Renaissance composer who wrote gorgeous music)

Barbara Strozzi: Sino alla morte

And of course...

Hildegard von Bingen

Voice of the Living Light

11,000 Virgins, Chant for the Feast of St. Ursula

Heaven and Earth

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