January 20, birthday of Yvonne Loriod (1924 – 2010)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I may not post.  On with today’s composer.

Yvonne Loriod was the second wife of composer Olivier Messiaen and herself  a composer, teacher and pianist.  As a student at the Paris Conservatory, her composition teacher was Messiaen.  At the age of 25, she was appointed professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris Her greatest fame and acclaim came as a concert pianist and she championed not only her professor’s compositions, but she also premiered pieces by other famous difficult works by composers like Bartok Piano Concerto number 2. After Messiaen’s wife died, Loriod married him, and in their later years continued to teach and mentor performers of Olivier’s works.

I can’t find any of her compositions online, but there are plenty of her performing Olivier’s and other’s works.

Messiaen: “Noel”
Debussy’s Etudes

Various Piano Works by Mozart
Messiaen:Le Moqueur polyglotte (part 1)

January 18, Else Marie Pade (died today in 2016)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I may not post.  On with today’s composer.

“Else Marie Pade (December 2, 1924 –  January 18, 2016) was a Danish composer born in Aarhus, a magical city which is today a hotspot of Danish arts.  As a child Pade contracted chronic pyelonephritis which, according to Wikipedia causes “persistent flank or abdominal pain, signs of infection (fever, unintentional weight loss, malaise, decreased appetite), lower urinary tract symptoms and blood in the urine.  She was confined to a bed where she listened to sounds outside her window, which she called “aural pictures.”   After getting better she started studying piano first with her mother and then with a more professional pianist.  Her playing caught the attention of the director of the People’s Music School in Aarhus, who offered her a position as a student.  There she was exposed to New Orleans Jazz, and began playing in a jazz band.

During the WW II, she joined the Danish resistance and was trained as an expert in an all women’s explosive group.  She was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and imprisoned in a concentration camp.  One night in the camp, she looked through a window, saw a star in the sky and heard music coming from inside her head.  She took her belt buckle and scratched the melody into the plaster of the cell wall.  She called it “You and I and the Stars.” (Which unfortunately, I cannot find on youtube.”

After the war she entered the Conservatory of Music and studied twelve-tone and heard the work of Pierre Schaeffer, who invented Musique concrète.  She started composing and became the first Dane to “compose a “”concrete” and electronic music work: A day at Bakken.”

“”Syv Cirkler” (Seven Circles)
Himmelrummet and Kong Vinter

Symphonie Magnetophonique (collaboration with Jacob Kirkegaard)
Faust (1962)

January 15, Birthday of Johanna Müller-Hermann (1878-1941)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I won’t post.  On with today’s composer.

Johanna Müller-Hermann (15 January 1878 – 19 April 1941) was an Austrian composer and pedagogue.” (Wikipedia).  I could only find this one work by her, an incredibly beautiful string quartet.  Odd to find only that, because she supposedly was one of the foremost composers of chamber music of her time, as this piece demonstrates.

“String Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 6: I. Moderato”
String Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 6: II.Allegro Vivace

“String Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 6: III. Adagio con espressione”
String Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 6: IV.Allegro con spirito

January 11, Birthday of Mary Rogers (1931-2014)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I won’t post.  On with today’s composer.

Mary Rodgers (January 11, 1931 – June 26, 2014) was an American composer of musicals and an author of children’s books.”   (Wikipedia)

Mary Rodgers was the daughter of Richard Rogers, the composer of many great musicals.  I didn’t know he had a daughter who composed, let alone that she composed the first musical I ever saw–“Once Upon a Mattress.”  That was the vehicle for a very young Carol Burnett when it was shown on television in 1964. The first two songs below come from “Mattress,” which was a huge hit.

She followed this with the music for “The Mad Show,” an Off-Broadway musical review based on Mad Magazine. I’ve included three of the songs. The second of these, “Well it Ain’t” is a parody of Bob Dylan. She wrote the next one, “The Boy From,” a gay parody of “The Girl from Ipanema,” with Stephen Sondheim. It’s a bit daring for 1966 with these lyrics:

“Why are his trousers vermillion?
His trousers are vermillion.
Why does he claim he’s Castilian?
He thayth that he’th Cathtilian.
Why do his friends call him Lillian?
And I hear at the end of the week
He’s leaving to start a boutique.”

“Yesterday I Loved You”
“Sensitivity”

“Hate Song”
“Well it Ain’t”

The Boy From

The Boy From

January 9, Birthday of Laura Valborg Aulin (1860-1928)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I won’t post.  On with today’s composer.

Laura Valborg Aulin (9 January 1860, Gävle – 11 January 1928, Örebro) was a Swedish pianist and composer. I can only find two works of hers on Youtube.

Piano Sonata in F-minor, Op.14 “Grande Sonate sérieuse” (1885)
5 Tondikter, Op .7: I – Vågornas vaggsång”

January 8, Birthday of Armande de Polignac (1876-1962)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I won’t post.  On with today’s composer.

Wikipedia has precious little to say about this composer who was a patron of Stravinsky, Ravel, and Milhaud.  Alas, I can find recordings of only two of her works.”

“Aube consolatrice “C’est une matinée adorablement douce…”
Le héron blanc

January 6, Birthday of Evelyn La Rue Pittman (1910-1992)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I won’t post.  On with today’s composer.

Eveyln La Rue Pittman was born in Oklahoma and went to Langston University where she studied violin, trombone, and harmony. In Oklahoma City, she founded a professional choir and had her own radio show. She obtained certificates to teach in any Oklahoma school and then went to New York where she studied composition at Julliard. Her professor there recommended her to Nadia Boulanger, with whom she studied in Paris. She is most known for her arrangement of African American spirituals, but she also wrote three operas, the last, in 1970, called Freedom Child which celebrated the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Alas, I can find recordings of only one of her works, a spiritual entitled “Anyhow.”

Anyhow
Another Version of Anyhow

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