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  • Nick Armstrong
    Host
    • Nov 2010
    • 26321

    Originally posted by smittims View Post
    I hear radio programmes in the same vein every now and then, all repeating the same worn-out fallacies
    Happily they are now fallacies more than they used to be, not least because of such programmes - one of the things I’m grateful to Radio 3 for is that the works of Farrenc, de Montgeroult, Bonis, Pejačević &c &c are a part of my listening pleasure in a way that they could never be in the first few decades of my musical interest, precisely because they were in effect unknown i.e. ‘silenced’…
    "...the isle is full of noises,
    Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
    Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
    Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices..."

    Comment

    • smittims
      Full Member
      • Aug 2022
      • 3174

      Inded, Nick; point taken. But it remains a mystery to me that while Radio 3 has made such a determined 'push' for female composers ,they are still 'silencing' the two who for me are the best of all: Elisabeth Lutyens and Priaulx Rainier.

      Comment

      • teamsaint
        Full Member
        • Nov 2010
        • 25079

        Originally posted by Pulcinella View Post



        You might enjoy this 'updated' series:

        https://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Lindche.../dp/B08TGW186D
        Thanks. Will check it out. In about 600 pages time …..
        I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.

        I am not a number, I am a free man.

        Comment

        • Historian
          Full Member
          • Aug 2012
          • 591

          Originally posted by johncorrigan View Post

          I'm having another wander through the Broadway of Damon Runyan in 'Guys and Dolls'. I saw it in a charity shop at the weekend and couldn't resist another stroll through that wonderful language in the company of those larger than life characters.
          First time for me, at least in terms of more than an isolated story. Agree that both the language and the characters are memorable.

          Comment

          • french frank
            Administrator/Moderator
            • Feb 2007
            • 29393

            I'm pressing on with John Gray's The New Leviathans ('prescient', 'a secular prophet', 'clear-sighted' - blurb), aware that Gray divides opinions: ("Gray defines his own “identity” as that of a “philosopher”, though he skimps on the sceptical circumspection usually associated with the word.")

            I've ordered Hobbes's Leviathan - in its day also anathematised and burnt as atheistic, egotistical, heretical, blasphemous​. One may find some messages unwelcome, and strongly disagree with them, but they may be right.
            It isn't given us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them any more in this world.

            Comment

            • Master Jacques
              Full Member
              • Feb 2012
              • 1751

              Originally posted by Nick Armstrong View Post

              Happily they are now fallacies more than they used to be, not least because of such programmes - one of the things I’m grateful to Radio 3 for is that the works of Farrenc, de Montgeroult, Bonis, Pejačević &c &c are a part of my listening pleasure in a way that they could never be in the first few decades of my musical interest, precisely because they were in effect unknown i.e. ‘silenced’…
              Gratitude is tempered, surely, when R3's focus on this - musically conservative, mainly high bourgeois / aristocratic - group of romantics, sucks airtime away from superlative living composers such as Sally Beamish, Judith Weir and Cecilia McDowall, let alone spikier, challenging figures from the more recent past, such as Ranier and Lutyens.

              (I've just reread Haruki Murakami's remarkable The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, which might be making me cantankerous!)

              Comment

              • LMcD
                Full Member
                • Sep 2017
                • 7486

                Black Gold - The History of How Coal Made Britain by Jeremy Paxman.

                Comment

                • french frank
                  Administrator/Moderator
                  • Feb 2007
                  • 29393

                  Originally posted by french frank View Post
                  I've ordered Hobbes's Leviathan - in its day also anathematised and burnt as atheistic, egotistical, heretical, blasphemous​. One may find some messages unwelcome, and strongly disagree with them, but they may be right.
                  598 pages. My brother (graduate in theology and philosophy) says he found Hobbes 'hard to understand so good luck with it'. I feel I should have ordered a student edition with copious notes as I am not well equipped.
                  It isn't given us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them any more in this world.

                  Comment

                  • Serial_Apologist
                    Full Member
                    • Dec 2010
                    • 36703

                    Originally posted by Master Jacques View Post

                    Gratitude is tempered, surely, when R3's focus on this - musically conservative, mainly high bourgeois / aristocratic - group of romantics, sucks airtime away from superlative living composers such as Sally Beamish, Judith Weir and Cecilia McDowall, let alone spikier, challenging figures from the more recent past, such as Ranier and Lutyens.

                    (I've just reread Haruki Murakami's remarkable The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, which might be making me cantankerous!)

                    Comment

                    • gradus
                      Full Member
                      • Nov 2010
                      • 5477

                      Tudor Children, Nicholas Orme's follow up to his Mediaeval Children and equally interesting, there being relatively little published on the subject.

                      Comment

                      • gurnemanz
                        Full Member
                        • Nov 2010
                        • 7277

                        Originally posted by french frank View Post

                        I've ordered Hobbes's Leviathan - in its day also anathematised and burnt as atheistic, egotistical, heretical, blasphemous​. One may find some messages unwelcome, and strongly disagree with them, but they may be right.
                        I did buy it as a student but in no way did it justice. I'm working my way through Antony Beevor's latest on the Russian Revolution and Civil War. Hard going for me with the detail and sheer horror and grotesque inhumanity depicted. "Nasty, brutish and short" would certainly apply to the lives of many of the millions who were killed during this time.

                        My copy of Richard Stokes' The Complete Songs of Hugo Wolf: Life, Letters, Lieder arrived a couple of days ago. It is a real labour of love and a model of its kind for its thoroughness, clarity of presentation and devotion to its subject. Definitely an essential for Lieder fans. Mr Stokes was the German teacher who enthused his pupil, Ian Bostridge, into a love of Lieder. Very well-priced price at Amazon

                        Comment

                        • smittims
                          Full Member
                          • Aug 2022
                          • 3174

                          Beginning again, Leonard Woolf's biography of the years 1911-1920. Having read so much aboiut Virginia's illness by writers who weren't born at the time of her death, , it's interesting to read an account by someone who was constantly with her through those years.

                          Comment

                          • LMcD
                            Full Member
                            • Sep 2017
                            • 7486

                            I've been pleasantly surprised to discover that Graham Norton (whom I avoid like the plague on TV and radio) is actually a pretty good writer. I'm currently reading 'Forever Home' before tackling Antony Beevor's book on the Russian revolution.

                            Comment

                            • Ian Thumwood
                              Full Member
                              • Dec 2010
                              • 4013

                              I finished Anna Beer's book "Sounds and secret airs" and regret to admit that I found her to be pretty insufferable. Without doubt, the female composers selected in each chapter had to contend with the changing ways in which women were viewed in their times and this was often a massive challenge. As a piece of historical writing, I have to say that the chapters on Strozzi, Caccini and De la Guerrre were almost unreadible. The chapter on Martines was marginally betterand it was not until the next chapter on Hensel that I became engaged. Along with Clara Schumann and Lili Boulanger, Hensel was the only composer I had heard of. Unfortunately Beer is like the proverbial pub boor and continually harks on about hos attitudes towards female ensured these composers did not enjoy the reputations they deserved. A lot of this is nonsense. In many instances, Beer herself acknowledges that some of these women either did not compose copious amounts of music, the music never survived or , in the case of Hensel and Boulanger, they died before they could really establish a reputation. The chapter on Booulanger concentrates on an opera she had intended to write bt which never happened. She is described as being forgotten which, from the point of view within jazz where she is highly considered, is absolute nonsence. I would concur that Elizabeth Maconchy was a new name to me and that , on the face of the final chapter, does seem neglected. However, Beer never considers the fact that Maconchy's work is probably out of fashion these days. As for Clara Schumann, I did not find her that sympathetic although her husband came out with little credibility in my opinion. Same for Felix Mendelsohn who dicouraged his sister to publish. (Not sure that being the second best Mendelsohn is much to write home about!)

                              There are some interesting points made within someof the Amazon reviews regarding female composers, the most obvious being that Beer never chose to write about Hildegard of Bingen - probably the greatest composer of her day, male or female, The concentration on early Music and Classical someone skews the perspective as times were very different and, as Beer acknowledges, there was a change in perception in the 19th century that German music was superior to that of other nationalities. Judith Wier is mentioned in passing but those female composers who probably led uninteresting and uneventful lives such as Cheminade, Meyer, Ferranc and Amy Beach are not really considered. Nor is Baciewizc who I think does deserve consideration and having a chapter on a composer working under the old communist regime in Poland would have made the book more varied as it would have shown how elements other than sexism had to be dealt with. There is not mention of Taillefrere either . One contemporary composer whose work I have appreciated, Sally Beamish, does not get a mention at all. The book probably predates the likes of the excellent Caroline Shaw. I would have appreciated a sider spectrum of female composers.

                              I am afraid that Beer's constant theme of the women being down-trodden does get really wearisome. I expect I am like everyone here and likes to think theyhave discovered someone new who is overlooked. For me, the book put me off wanting to explore the works of these women other than perhaps Hensel and Boulanger. It felt like really bad history writing in my opinion. If a book on music does not pique your interest in it's subject, I feel it has failed. I did not understand much of what she wrote about Caccini and Strozzi as Beer never really described what her music sounded like and what instruents were used to perform it. Out of curiousity, I briefly looked some of their works out on Youtube but felt that it was much of a muchness for music of this era. The "interestng" thing about it is that it survived at all! All in all, I just felt that female composers deserved something much better than this book. Definately a case of a writer getting her dungarees in a twist concerning the treatment of female composers.

                              I am now reading Martin Da Cruz' excellent account of the evolution of football in Uruguay (1878 to 1917 ) - "From beauty to duty." This is probably the most niche football book imaginable but it is a cracking read. This is a book I would recommend.

                              Comment

                              • smittims
                                Full Member
                                • Aug 2022
                                • 3174

                                Well, Ian, well done for reading it to to the end without throwing it across the room (or at least, picking it up again and reading on).

                                I too, have tired of hearing that the only reason some women's music was forgotten was male oppression. It couldn't just be that, like many male composers, their music just wasn't much good!

                                Elizabeth Maconchy's music has been revived quite a bit in recent years, and, in my opinion, now receives its due.

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