Miscellany

Bayreuth Festspielhaus

Plácido Domingo, 77, has sung his 150th role. …

Architect Frank Gehry has designed a new concert hall for L.A. Phil’s youth orchestra. …

The music director of the Long Beach Symphony adds the Portland Symphony (Maine) to his resume. …

The Philadelphia Orchestra is going to test drive new works by six young women composers. …

The Concertgebouw Orchestra has fired its celebrated chief conductor. …

George Walker, the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize, has died at 96. …

At the Bayreuth Festival, Wagner gets a timely update. …

None other than Yo-Yo Ma offers a sampling of Bach for his Tiny Desk Concert. …

–TM

Emilie Mayer: Symphony No. 7 in F minor (1856)

Emilie Mayer (1812-1883) was a German composer, quite successful in her day. Among her compositions are 8 symphonies, a piano concerto, several concert overtures and much chamber music. Her most famous teacher was Carl Loewe, remembered today mostly for his lieder.

Her Symphony No. 7 is impressive and very Schumannesque.

To hear more music in this series, click on the “neglected symphonies” tag below this post.

Symphonic progressivism, 1896

I came across the program above quite by chance the other day, during another search (I don’t even remember what I was looking for).

It’s rather astounding. In our own time, symphony orchestras have come to be seen as conservative organizations and as curators of the past. The call has gone out for a greater diversity in the repertoire, for the performance of more living composers and the performance of more women composers.

Here, from 1896, is an exemplar from the Boston Symphony. It’s a subscription concert and every composer on the program above, except for the last, was alive at the time of the performance.

And the first piece on the agenda — the “Gaelic” Symphony by Amy Beach — was, yes, composed by a woman. It’s a piece very much worth reviving, by the way.