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Composers Unsung Podcasts

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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.


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Recent Episodes

Composers Unsung Series 1 Episode 11
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. 
Composers Unsung Series 1 Episode 10
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.
Composers Unsung Series 1 Episode 9
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
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Podcast Details
May 20th, 2019
Latest Episode
Aug 12th, 2019
Release Period
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Avg. Episode Length
33 minutes

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