Two radio programmes of interest to SPO bloggers. First, our musical director found herself on Woman’s Hour, magnificently negotiating the feminist agenda. When asked if women can conduct Mahler, the gist of her reply was, ‘You will have to listen to me and make up your own mind’. ‘Why so few women conductors?’ ‘Conducting involves a lot of travel. Women are very busy’. Sadly, she was not asked much about conducting itself. Hopefully we will soon reach the stage when gender matters are of little interest and subordinate to the real issues of musicianship and conducting skills. Ewa certainly seemed to think so.
Last thursday, Radio 3 broadcast two choral pieces by Christopher Brown, (who has previously written music for the SPO), in celebration of his 65th birthday. First a work from the past: To Musik Sing. A short piece with a spine tingling soprano solo in the slow middle section. Then a setting of some poems by the Scottish poet Henry Marsh. The four songs that make up ‘Sunlight on a Pale Green Ocean’ include a humerous evocation of the poet’s search for a corncrake and a gloriously peaceful representation of Spring in South Uist. Rush to to hear these pieces on BBC iPlayer. I am not sure how long they will stay available; only a week I think. (I tried today, 20.12.2008 and the link is now down. Sorry).
PS The Cristopher Brown pieces are at the beginning, shortly after a few irrelevant bars of piano music.