Playlist: Classical Womyn
For National Classical Music Month, Nat put together a playlist of perhaps lesser known female composers. The Classical genre on Spotify only showcases male composers, but there are many notable female composers. While not all of the composers are specific to the Classical time period of music, their importance is not to be contested.
Included in this playlist are pieces from:
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), Louise Farrenc (1804-75), Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-47), Clara Schumann (1819-96), Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), Florence Beatrice Price (1887-1953), and Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-53).
Enjoy this compilation honoring womyn in Classical music. 🎶
- "Antiphon, O quam mirabilis est" by Hildegard von Bingen
- "Soirées musicales Op. 6: II." by Clara Schuman
- "Serenade in D Major: I" by Ethel Smyth
- "Konzertsatz in A minor" by Clara Schumann
- "Study in Mixed Accents" by Ruth Crawford Seeger
- "Ancient Suite" by Hildegard von Bingen
- "Schwanenlied" by Fanny Mendelssohn
- "Kyrie eleison" by Hildegard von Bingen
- "Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint: No. 3, Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes. Andante cantabile" by Florence Beatrice Price
- "The Wreckers: Overture" by Ethel Smyth
- "Piano Quintet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 31" by Louise Farrenc
- "Scherzo in D minor, Op. 10" by Clara Schuman
- "Italien" by Fanny Mendelssohn
- "Moon Bridge" by Florence Beatrice Price
- "Fantasie negre" by Florence Beatrice Price
- "1931" by Ruth Crawford Seeger
- "Prelude No. 9: Tranquillo" by Ruth Crawford Seeger
- "Sextet for Piano and Wind in C Minor, Op. 40" by Louise Farrenc
- "Hero und Leander" by Fanny Mendelssohn
- "The March of the Women (last two verses)" by Ethel Smyth
- "Cello Sonata in B Major, Op. 46: I. Allegro moderato" by Louise Farrenc
- "Concerto in One Movement" by Florence Beatrice Price
Ethel Smyth's "March of the Women", composed in 1910 as the official anthem for the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) and for the women's suffrage movement at large, could be heard loudly and boldly during rallies and hunger strikes. Activists in a prison courtyard were seen chanting: "...marching round it and singing lustily their war-chant while the composer, beaming approbation from an overlooking upper window, beat time in almost Bacchic frenzy with a toothbrush." 😸😆😈 Banshees.
Comrades—ye who have dared
First in the battle to strive and sorrow!
Scorned, spurned—nought have ye cared,
Raising your eyes to a wider morrow,
Ways that are weary, days that are dreary,
Toil and pain by faith ye have borne;
Hail, hail—victors ye stand,
Wearing the wreath that the brave have worn!
Life, strife—those two are one,
Naught can ye win but by faith and daring.
On, on—that ye have done
But for the work of today preparing.
Firm in reliance, laugh a defiance,
(Laugh in hope, for sure is the end)
March, march—many as one,
Shoulder to shoulder and friend to friend.
Shoulder to shoulder and friend to friend, you are marching with many as one against the heavy hands of bigotry and oppression. Individually it may seem like the fight is too big a burden to carry out on your own, but a combined effort of many strong individuals over a prolonged period of time is force enough to counter those attempting to control and cut down. Remember that you are not the first in this fight. There have been countless womyn throughout history who defied the patriarchy, and it is because of their individual efforts that we owe the freedom we experience today.
Honor those before us who paved the way for talented, fearless movers.
Channel what you can into something productive. Write, sing, play, create, destroy, scream, volunteer... DO something.
Know that you are not alone in your fight.