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Subject: Re: Female Composers: (was "The Mania for Inclusion")
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 8 Feb 2018 15:51:53 -0500

text/plain (119 lines)

Of course "a woman could write music like that": imitative, pleasant, and
conventional.  Would you dare to name the more frequently performed
piano concertos by men that you consider to be inferior?

Why can't we accept what woman do well for it's own inestimable worth
instead of elevating their rare attempts to compete with men, the only
object of which, is to confer some vague sense of "inclusion".  If important
undiscovered women composers exist,  what evidence is there to prove
that their output has been deliberately suppressed?  When women artists
achieve greatness, as they persistently do, in performance, literature,
sculpture, theater, poetry, etc. etc., they get as much adulation as men.
I am sure if a great female composer were to emerge, she would be
It is not impossible; it just hasn't happened yet.

As it does happen, I enjoyed L'AMOUR DE LOIN too;  I am not ready though,
to set
it up there beside PARSIFAL., not even beside LA RONDINE.  One of my
things in all music is the Gershwin PIANO CONCERTO IN F, but I would never
it must then be just as great a work as the Brahms Second Piano Concerto.
I like
it for what it is, not for the company it can't quite keep.


On Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 2:55 PM, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>

> Clara Schumann wrote a number of beautiful works, though she knew “her
> place” so orchestral works are fewer than solo or chamber music pieces.
> Nonetheless, her piano concerto is at least as good as any in the standard
> concerto repertoire and, I dare say, superior than a number that get
> performed with far more frequency.  I remember hearing a recording not
> all that long ago and a listener declaring, “I never knew a woman could
> write music like that,” a commentary I found both hilariously ignorant . .
> .
> and vile.  Of course, Frau Schumann was neither really a “woman” at 13
> when she wrote this impressive, virtuoso work, nor was she Frau
> Schumann yet.  One can only imagine what, if given the time to develop
> her own skills how far she could have gone.
> Fanny Mendelssohn was considerably prolific and some of her orchestral
> and choral works certainly should be better known.  I’m an enormous fan
> of her oratorio, Bildern der Bibel, in which she reaches waaaaaay back and
> evokes, and pays enormous homage to, the cantatas and passions of Bach.
> Many of the symphonic works of Amy Beach are certainly impressive
> enough, and along with a number of other women composers, are unduly
> neglected by most orchestras, rarely getting any playtime.  Here is her
> Symphony in E Minor “The Gaelic.”
> Of contemporary composers, Kaija Saariaho “became famous,” recently by
> being only the second female composer to have a work, L’Amor Loin,
> performed by the Metropolitan Opera, and presented live in HD.  While it is
> a beautiful, work and has been performed around the globe, Saariaho has
> been famous outside of the U.S. for a while, an impressive body of work.  A
> few brave U.S. orchestras have programmed her works, among them the
> Boston Symphony.  Here is her “Circle Map” from 2002.  It won’t be to all
> likings, but I find it fascinating and beautifully haunting.
> Then there’s the strange case of Hildegard von Bingen, who, practically
> invented
> invented music (someone will take that literally and argue against it,
> I’m 'sure).  Her Ordo Virtutum from 1151 predates other morality plays
> by 'over a century and is still performed today.'
> This is but a smattering of works by women who – dare I say it? – had
> they been men would be far greater known than they are.  Additionally, peo
> people generally want something "familiar" not "new."  This is as true in
> pop
> popular music as it is in the classical world.  How many of us have been
> at a p
> a popular music event when the crowd leaves disappointed because the ban
> band played mostly new music when 90% only wanted to hear the songs the
> they already knew?
> Here's looking forward to a period when great and challenging music by m
> more women can be heard and to a time when the composer's gender n
> needn't even be a topic of discussion.
> p.
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