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Composers Unsung Podcasts

Composers Unsung Podcasts

Author: Jim Pellatt

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A series of Podcasts of classical music from composers who are little known today, but composed some of the most beautiful music imaginable. The first 11 episodes are already available with more to follow. Listen now on our website: ALL OUR PODCASTS HAVE A PRS MUSIC LICENCE NO. LE-0017539.
11 Episodes
Music by Ruud Langgaard, August Halm, Knudåge Riisager, Kurt Atterberg, Sergei Taneyev. Hosted by Jim Pellatt.In this episode:Ruud Langgaard’s Second Symphony (1914) is directly appealing and expansive though never unfocused study in a Romanticism The central Lento is beautiful and makes the strongest impression based  on a Danish Christmastide hymn unfolding with rapt inwardness, before being thrown into relief by the unworldly quality of an interlude (6'42") which anticipates disquieting visions ahead. Vienna Philarmonic Conducted by Sakari Oramo.There is not a great deal known about August Halm’s Symphony but it is right on message. It is thoroughly romantic, soaked in pastoral grandiloquence, birdsong, charming visions and gentle imagery. Halm takes a stance that is both reactionary and backward looking  and the result is caught creatively between Tchaikovsky, Mahler (Adagietto), Rachmaninov and John Barry, but no less captivating for that. Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen conducted by Per BorinKnudåge Riisager, - Etudes No. 5, Adagio Knudåge Riisager was born in Estonia of Danish parents. and the family returned to Denmark in 1900 when Riisager was 3. Riisager alighted on piano etudes by Czerny and fashioned them into a 13-movement work for small orchestra. Soon afterwards he incorporated just over half these pieces - but expanded and re-orchestrated - into a ballet called Etudes. The results are consistently enjoyable with fine distribution between strings and winds and brass. Etudes No. 5 the adagio is here  played by Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by Andreas Delfs.Kurt Atterberg’s 1st Symohony was written between 1909-11, and revised in. 1913. The second movement which we are about to hear is a long-breathed Adagio. And is played by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi - Symphony No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 3 (1913 Version) II. Adagio Sergei Taneyev: Next is delectable Adagio in C major, written during the composer's final year at the Moscow Conservatory. Much of Taneyev's youthful work was only discovered years later. The Adagio, published in 1950, is a real gem, especially when it's played with such elegance and refinement. Here it is played by the Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Sanderling.This has been a Composers Unsung production under our PRS MUSIC LICENCE NO. LE-0017539. 
Music by Artur Lemba, Hubert Parry, Herbert Howells CBE, Robert John Godfrey, Xia Guan. Hosted by Jim Pellatt.Artur Lemba: . Poéme d’amour. Purchase HereHubert Parry: 5th Symphony. Purchase HereHerbert Howells CBE: 1st Piano Concerto. Purchase HereRobert John Godfrey: The Voice Within. UnavailableXia Guan: Sorrowful Dawn. Purchase HereArtur Lemba Artur Lemba learned piano from his brother Theodor Lemba. In 1899, following in his brother's footsteps, he enrolled at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. There he studied piano with Carl van Arck, Prof. V. Tolstov and I. Borovka. His composition teacher was Nicolai Soloviev and he studied music theory with Alexander Lyadov, Alexander Glazunov and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1908, he graduated, receiving a gold medal in piano, a silver medal in composition, and the Anton Rubinstein prize (a Schröder piano). At his graduation ceremony, Lemba performed his Piano Concerto No. 1.This his Poéme d’amour wriiten in 1916 is taken from and Estonia concert of 17 Nov 2016 and was Orchestrated by Peteer Saul orginally having been written for Vioiln Piano.and is played by the Estonian National Orchestra conducted by Neeme Jarvi.with Triin Ruubel violin. Hubert Parry’s Fifth Symphony was composed for the centenary of the Royal Philharmonic Society and was duly heard at the Queen’s Hall on 5 December 1912 with the composer conducting.The original title of the work was ‘Symphony in four linked movements in B minor, 1912’. However, at the second performance of the piece it was called the ‘Fifth Symphony’ and finally, the printed score is entitled ‘Symphonic Fantasia in B minor “1912”’ with ‘Symphony’ as a subtitle.  The symphony is in 4 movements and here is the beautiful II. Love- Lento. It is played here by Matthias Bamert conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra.Herbert Howells CBE (17 October 1892 – 23 February 1983) was an English composer, organist, and teacher, most famous for his large output of Anglican church music. He studied organ alongside Ivor Novello, famous for his musicals, a latter day Andrew Lloyd Webber. He had two children  Ursula (1922–2005), later a famous actress, and Michael (1926–1935). Who died very young, a tragedy which Herbert really recovered from. The First Piano Concerto is a most ambitious piece lasting over half an hour cast in the grand romantic mould with a lengthy first movement including an extensive cadenza, a long meditative slow movement and a more animated finale. One might be forgiven for hearing echoes from Rachmaninov, Howells Piano Concerto is played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Richard Hickox with Howard Shelley piano.
Music by Gerald Finzi, Rheinold Gliere,  Camille Saint-Saëns, Thomas Schmidt-Kowalski, Fritz Weigl. Hosted by Jim Pellatt.Gerald Finzi: Cello Concerto in A Minor. Purchase HereRheinold Gliere: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor. Purchase HereCamille Saint-Saëns: Cypres et Lauriers. Purchase HereThomas Schmidt-Kowalski: Cello Concerto in A Minor. Purchase HereFritz Weigl: Symphony No. 5 'Apocalyptic'. Purchase HereRheinold Gliere.Glière lifted the noble melody of the central section almost without modification from the finale of Rachmaninoff's popular Second Piano Concerto. Later, America's Tin Pan Alley would use the same theme for a pop song called "Full Moon and Empty Arms". A poignant and tender aria, initially sung by the English horn, is the subject of a series of colorful variations in III. It is played by Sir Edward Downes and the BBC Philarmonic Orchestra.Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880), the Third ("Organ") Symphony (1886) and The Carnival of the Animals (1886).Saint-Saëns was a musical prodigy; he made his concert debut at the age of ten. After studying at the Paris Conservatoire he followed a conventional career as a church organist, first at Saint-Merri, Paris and, from 1858, La Madeleine, the official church of the French Empire. After leaving the post twenty years later, he was a successful freelance pianist and composer, in demand in Europe and the Americas. As a young man, Saint-Saëns was enthusiastic for the most modern music of the day, within a conventional classical tradition. He was a scholar of musical history, and remained committed to the structures worked out by earlier French composers. Saint-Saëns held only one teaching post, at the École de Musique Classique et Religieuse in Paris, and remained there for less than five years. The piece we are about to hear is Saint-Saëns, Cypres et lauriers played by  Ian Tracey Organ, BBC Philharmonic, Rumon Gamba -, Op. 156Thomas Schmidt-Kowalski (21 June 1949 – 5 January 2013)[1] was a German composer.Schmidt-Kowalski was born at Oldenburg in 1949.[2] He studied composition at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Berlin under Frank Michael Beyer (1971) and at the Musikhochschule Hannover under Alfred Koerppen (1972–77).[2] In the course of his studies, Schmidt-Kowalski turned from the musical avant-garde and chose to write in a more traditional vein.[2]  Schmidt-Kowalski's works are fully tonal, and their design and h
Music by Malcolm Williamson, Alexander MacKenzie, Georg Schumann, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Charles Marie Widor. Hosted by Jim Pellatt.Malcolm Williamson: Overture Santiago de Espada. Purchase HereAlexander MacKenzie: Pibroch Suite. Purchase HereGeorg Schumann: Symphony No. 3 in F Minor. Purchase HereRalph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5. Purchase HereCharles Marie Widor: Symphony No. 3 for Organ & Orchestra. Purchase HereRegular listeners to this series of composers on some podcasts will know that Malcolm Williamson figures high in my list of favourite 20th century and early 21st century composers  Written in 1956 when Williamson was barely 25, it was his first mature orchestral work. The overture Santiago De Espada was first heard in June 1957 when the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by it’s dedicatee Sir Adrian Boult included it in a private concert at St. Pancras Town Hall, London.  Despite this, it wasn't until a broadcast in February 1958 that the work had its first public airing. It has become one of Williamson’s most popular works and is played by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rumon Gamba. Georg Alfred Schumann (October 25, 1866 – May 23, 1952) was a German composer and director of the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin. He later was a student at the Leipzig Conservatory for seven years, This piece comes from his 3rd Symphony in F Minor and it is a lyrical second subject reveals Schumann as the inspired melodist. It’s the slow movement which immediately won me over. Low bass pizzicatos and brass chords herald in one of the most beautiful melodies I think I’ve ever heard. It is I played by   Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin conducted by James Feddeck.Ralph Vaughan Williams needs no introduction, but his best known pieces sometimes mask the fact that he wrote 9 symphonies and a large body of other works like this the beautiful slow movement from his 5th Symphony, which is played here by London Symphony Orchestra; conducted by the consistently superb champion of British composers Richard Hickox. Sir Alexander Mackenzie has also featured in previous podcasts from Composers Unsung, and was one of the few composers amongst his peers, who was much admired by Edward Elgar, who acknowledged Mackenzie’s influence on Elgar's own work. The music we are about to hear comes from Mackenzie's Pibroch Suite for violin and orchestra. It followed some four years after Mackenzie’s  Violin Concerto and was written at the request of Sarasate for inclusion in the Leeds Festival programme of 1889. Appropriately, the work was completed on the composer’s native soil in Scotland while he spent his summer vacation in Braemar during August 1889. He finished scoring the suite in just over ten days. Here is the Rhapsody-L
Music by Alexander Glazunov, Thomas Dunhill, Mieczysław Karłowicz, Alberto Nepomuceno, Artur Lemba. Hosted by Jim Pellatt.Alexander Glazunov: From The Middle Ages. Purchase HereThomas Dunhill: Symphony in A minor. Purchase HereMieczysław Karłowicz: Symphony in E minor, Op. 7 ''Odrodzenie'' (Rebirth). Purchase HereAlberto Nepomuceno: Symphony In G Minor. Purchase HereArtur Lemba: Piano Concerto No.1. Purchase HereIn this episode 7 of this composers unsung series we have some very beautiful music from little known composers. If you'd like to hear more of our podcasts in the composers unsung series why not visit our website or you can listen to them on Apple podcasts Spotify stitcher and TuneIn Radio In this episode you will hear music from Alexander Glazunov, Thomas Dunhill, Myslav Karlowicz  Alberto Nepomuceno and Artur Lemba.Out first piece is by Alexander Glazunov, a prolific composer whose 7th Symphony fearured in a previous podcast from Composers Unsung. It is from his suite from the Middle Ages, Glazunov's greatest strength was always his capacity for drawing broad lyric strokes from his instruments and in this the prelude Prelude, the composer moves from deep, bass-driven portent to amorous warmth of a most attractive kind, one of Glazunov’s most passionate and lyrical melodies. Here it is played by The Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducte by Neeme Jarvi. Thomas Frederick Dunhill (1 February 1877 – 13 March 1946) was an English composer and writer on musical subjects. . In 1893 Dunhill entered the Royal College of Music studying harmony with Walter Parratt.[1] In 1894 he began studying composition under Charles Villiers Stanford, whose pupil he remained after leaving the college, studying with him until 1901. His most substantial orchestral piece was the symphony in A minor composed several years earlier, but first performed in Belgrade in 1922. there is a power, a weight, and even a nobility to Dunhill's Symphony that raises it to nearly the same heights as Elgar's symphonies. Here is the haunting played by Martin Yates leading the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.Artur Lemba was an Estonian composer and piano teacher, and one of the most important figures in Estonian classical music. Artur and his older brother Theodor were the first professional pianists in Estonia to give concerts abroad. Artur's 1905 opera Sabina was the first opera composed by an Estonian. His G major First Concerto (1910)  has feel of Rachmainov and Tchaikovsky and was written in 1910.Alberto Nepomuceno (July 6, 1864  – October 16, 1920) was a Brazilian composer and conductor. He got to know Mahler, Debussy and other composers of the time, mixing in the music world outside of Brazill. Here we hear t
Music by Rheinold Gliere, Henri Rabaud, Nikolai Myaskovsky, John Foulds, Malcolm Williamson. Hosted by Jim Pellatt.Rheinold Gliere: Harp Concerto. Purchase HereHenri Rabaud: Symphony No.2 Purchase HereNikolai Myaskovsky: Symphony No. 27. Purchase HereJohn Foulds: Keltic Suite. Purchase HereMalcolm Williamson: How Can I Explain To You (The Violins Of St. Jacques). Purchase Here.Well here we are at episode 6 of this composers unsung series and thank you for joining me again there is so much more beautiful music to come so keep listening and if you'd like to hear more of that podcasts why not visit our website song or you can listen to them on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stritcher and TuneIn Radio In this episode you will hear music from Reinhold Gliere Henry Henri Rabaud, Robbo Nikolai Myaskovsky John Foulds and Malcolm Williamson Our second piece is the slow movement from Henri Rabaud’s 2nd Symphony. Henri Rabaud (10 November 1873 – 11 September 1949) was a French conductor and composer, who held important posts in the French musical establishment and upheld mainly conservative trends in French music in the first half of the twentieth century. His 2nd Symphony was written in 1899-1900. The slow movement which we hear recalls the organ loft: long singing lines and plangent liturgical atmosphere settling into dreamy disengagement. Orchestre Philharmonique de Sofia/Nicolas CoutonNikolai Yakovlevich Myaskovsky or Miaskovsky 8 April 1881 – 8 August 1950, was a Russian and Soviet composer. He is sometimes referred to as the "Father of the Soviet Symphony".and Myaskovsky was awarded the Stalin Prize five times, more than any other composer. He was a prolific composer including 27 symphonies, and it is the slow movement of no. 27 we hear now.This is the adagio, played by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra Conductor Valeri Polyansky on Chandos Records. John Foulds (1880-1939) The Lament from Foulds Keltic Suite,  was the middle movement of Foulds’s Keltic Suite (1914), which was dedicated to his friend, the actor Lewis Casson. Keltic Suite Op.29 (1911) was derived from an earlier work, the Keltic Melodies for strings and harp.Here it is played by the City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo. The Violins of Saint-Jacques is an opera by Malcolm Williamson written in 1966, and we are about to hear the aria How can I explain to you. The opera is based on 1953 Novel by Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011). It is sung by the composers fellow Australian Cheryl Barker with the, London Philharmonic Orchestra, David Parry.I hope you are enjoying your joining me again in a week's time where we will have music from Alexander Glazunov Artur Lemba Alberto Nepomuceno Thoma
Music by John Ireland, Edward Elgar, Percy Sherwood, Sergei Prokofiev, Albert Hurwit. Hosted by Jim Pellatt.John Ireland: A London Overture. Purchase HereEdward Elgar: Piano Quintet (Orchestrated by Donald Fraser)  Purchase HerePercy Sherwood: Piano Concerto No. 2. Purchase HereSergei Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet. Purchase HereAlbert Hurwit: Symphony No.2 (Remembrance). Purchase HereThank you for joining me for this episode 5 of our composers unsung series of podcasts. My name is Jim Pellatt, and I am looking forward to sharing with you this wonderful music and lyrical melodies from little known composersIn this episode 5 of this Composers Unsung series you will hear music from John Ireland, Edward Elgar, Percy Sherwood, Sergei Prokofiev and Albert Hurwit, . You can download Episode 1 ,2 3 and 4 and get information on where to obtain the music played on the Composer Unsung podcasts on our website There is also more information about the composers featured,  or why not email us at composersunsung@gmail.comJohn Ireland’s Downland suite featured in a previous podcast, and we are about to hear his A London Overture. Ireland was something of a self-doubter, and yet despite being somewhat under the radar as a composer, stands comparison with his peers. A London Overture is as it’s title suggests about the hustle and bustle of the great city, interlaced with a lyrical romantic melody, and echoes of the cockney song Cherry Ripe. Here it is played by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Hickox.Edward Elgar  could not by any stretch of the imagination, be described as a Composer Unsung, but this particular piece is different, as it is an orchestration of Elgar’s Piano Quintet. Orchestrating other composers work can be contentious, but not when it is as beautifully realised as this. Here is the slow movement played by the English Symphony Orchestrator, conducted by the orchestrator, Donald Fraser.Percy Sherwood (23 May 1866 - 15 May 1939)[1] was a German-born composer and pianist of English nationality.He was born in Dresden, the son of a lecturer in English at Dresden University, John Sherwood, and a German mother Auguste Koch, who had been a successful soprano. After his studies with Theodor Kirchner, Felix Draeseke and Herman Scholtz, Sherwood became a major figure in the music life of Dresden before the First World War. In 1889 he won the Mendelssohn Prize for his Requiem. He was first a teacher, then professor, at the Dresden Conservatory from 1893 and 1911 respectively. His own students included Dora Pejačević. Shortly before war broke out in 1914 he and his wife abandoned their Dresden villa and returned to England where he was almost unknown. Thereafter he made
Music by Alexander Mackenzie, Arvo Part, Malcolm Williamson, Can Atilla, Alexander Glazunov. Hosted by Jim Pellatt.Alexander Mackenzie: Overture, The Little Minister. Purchase HereArvo Part: Spiegel Im Spiegel. Purchase HereMalcolm Williamson: Suite Our Man In Havana. Purchase HereCan Atilla: Symphony No. 2. Purchase HereAlexander Glazunov: Symphony No.7. Purchase HereWelcome to Episode 4 of composers unsung. My name is Jim Pellatt, and I am looking forward to sharing with you this wonderful music and lyrical melodies from little known composers.In this episode 4 of this Composers Unsung series you will hear music from Alexander Mackenzie, Arvo Part, Malcolm Williamson, Alexander Glazunov, and Cain Attila. You can download Episode 1 ,2 and 3, and get information on where to obtain the music played on the Composer Unsung podcasts on our website There is also more information about the composers featured. Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie (22 August 1847 – 28 April 1935) was a Scottish composer, conductor and teacher best known for his oratorios, violin and piano pieces, Scottish folk music and works for the stage. He produced over 90 compositions, but from 1888 to 1924, he devoted a great part of his energies to running the Royal Academy of Music. Together with Hubert Parry and Charles Villiers Stanford, he was regarded as one of the fathers of the British musical renaissance in the late nineteenth century. On his eighty-sixth birthday, over forty distinguished musicians presented him with a silver tray inscribed with facsimiles of their signatures, including Elgar, Delius, Ethel Smyth, Edward German, Henry Wood, and Landon Ronald. He retired from the Academy and from public life in 1924. Here we hear his overture The Little Minister, played by Rumon Gamba, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra.Arvo Pärt (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈɑrvo ˈpært]; born 11 September 1935) is an Estonian composer of classical and religious music. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style. His most performed works include Fratres (1977), Spiegel im Spiegel (1978), and Für Alina (1976). Since 2011 Pärt has been the most performed living composer in the world.Can Atilla (born in 1969) is a Turkish musician and composer. Can graduated from Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory in 1990 with a BA degree in violin. He has composed several studio albums as well as numerous scores for films, plays and television series. His Symphony No.2 in C minor, Gallipoli – The 57th Regiment contains this beautiful slow movement and is played by Bilkent Symphony Orchestra/Burak TüzünAlexander Konstantinovich Glazunov (1865 – 21 March 1936) was a Russian composer, music teacher, and co
Music by Malcolm Arnold, John Ireland, Puccini, Xia Guan, Anatoly Liadov. Hosted by Jim Pellatt.Malcolm Arnold: Peterloo Overture. Purchase HereJohn Ireland: Downland Suite. Purchase HerePuccini: La Rondine. Purchase HereXia Guan: Symphony No. 2. Purchase HereAnatoly Liadov: Polonaise. Purchase Here In this episode 3 of this Composers Unsung series you will hear music from Malcolm Arnold, a little-known aria by Puccini, John Ireland, Xia Guan and Anatoly Liadov. You can download Episode 1 and 2, and get information on where to obtain the music played on Series 1 podcasts on our website There is also more information about the composers featured. Malcolm Arnold was born in Northampton and won a scholarship to the the RCM where he studied composition with Gordon Jacob and the trumpet with Ernest Hall. In 1941 he joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra[ (LPO) as second trumpet and became principal trumpet in 1943. His first love was composition, and wrote many film scores including the Bridge on the River Kwai and Inn of the Sixth happiness. He also wrote 9 symphonies many overtures and other works in his long composing career. The work we're about to hear is the dramatic Peterloo overture containing one of his most memorable melodies, which was (commissioned by the Trades Union Congress to commemorate the historic massacre of protesting workers in Manchester). Here it is with the composer himself conducting the City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.Puccini’s comic opera La Rondine was premiered in Monte Carlo in 1917 The initial reception by the public and press was warm. However, despite the artistic value of the score, La rondine has been one of Puccini's less successful works; "In box office terms, [it] was the poor cousin to the other great hits." There is no established final version of it, Puccini being dissatisfied, as often, with the result of his work; he revised it many times to the point of making three versions (1917, 1920, 1921), with two completely different endings, but died before clearly deciding on a final version. This particular aria Paulette is one that I can’t get out of my mind. It is short but exceptionally beautiful. This version is sung by: The English composer John Ireland wrote the work in 1932 for the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain at a time when original pieces were regularly commissioned for major contests. The suite is a pictorial depiction enshrining the composer's love for the Sussex  Downs. The Elegy which we are about to hear has an Elgarian flavour from its melodic structure. The first three movements were skilfully arranged for s
Series 01 Ep. 02. Music from Sir George Dyson, Sir Arthur Somervell, Rutland Boughton, Vasily Kalinnikov, Ralph Vaughan Williams. hosted by Jim Pellatt.At The Tabard Inn by Sir George Dyson. Purchase Here.Violin Concerto by Sir Arthur Somervell, Purchase HereFinal Movement Symphony No. 2 by Vasily Kalinnikov. Purchase HereSymphony No. 3 Slow Movement by Rutland Boughton Purchase HereTriumphal Epilogue by Ralph Vaughan Williams Purchase Here
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