Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
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202001A Tale Of Two Composers20200706Donald Macleod explores the music of Henri Duparc and Augusta Holm\u00e8s

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Donald Macleod and Anastasia Belina explore the lives and music of Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc, beginning with their early years, and including Duparc's L'invitation au voyage and a symphony by Holmès, which was specially recorded by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Imagine creating a grand spectacle that demands 1,200 performers, along with the most lavish sets and costumes. You might think that the figure behind such an extraordinary achievement would have staked a claim on immortality, yet despite achieving considerable fame in her own lifetime, this is not the fate that befell Augusta Holmès. Over the passage of time her name has disappeared into obscurity, whilst that of her direct contemporary, Henri Duparc has grown and prospered. These days he's regarded as one of the leading figures of French song, yet it's still the case that relatively little is known about his life.

In Duparc's case his is a reputation built on the slenderest of musical means, some seventeen mélodies. By contrast, Holmès's Ode triomphale, which was written to mark the centenary of France's 1789 revolution, is the largest of a generous collection of large-scale orchestral works, to which you can also add four operas, the last of which was mounted at the Paris Opera in 1895, as well as considerable catalogue of songs.

To shed light on Holmès's music, several of her works have been recorded by the BBC Performing Groups, as part of the Forgotten Women Composers project, which was developed by the BBC in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Helping Donald Macleod uncover more about the little-known Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc, is Anastasia Belina, a music historian with a particular interest in 19th-century music and women composers.

Holmès's musical aspirations didn't get off to a flying start, as her mother, who was a painter, held an aversion to music, while Duparc's family saw their son's eventual future in Law.

Duparc: Chansons triste
Margaret Price, soprano
James Lockhart, piano

Duparc: Aux étoiles
Lyon Opera Orchestra
Pierre Bleuse, conductor

Holmès: Trois petites pièces for flute and piano
Juliette Hurel, flute
Hélène Couvert, piano

Holmès: Rolando Furieux
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Valentina Peleggi, conductor

Duparc: L'invitation au voyage
Felicity Lott, soprano
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Armin Jordan, conductor

Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales.

202002A Composer In The Making20200707Donald Macleod explores the music of Duparc and Holm\u00e8s. Today, lessons with C\u00e8sar Franck.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Donald Macleod and Anastasia Belina consider how Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc's musical trajectories led them to study with Cèsar Franck.

Donald Macleod and Anastasia Belina consider howAugusta Holmès and Henri Duparc's contrasting musical trajectories led them to study with Cèsar Franck, including the story behind Duparc's rescued cello sonata.

Imagine creating a grand spectacle that demands 1,200 performers, along with the most lavish sets and costumes. You might think that the figure behind such an extraordinary achievement would have staked a claim on immortality, yet despite achieving considerable fame in her own lifetime, this is not the fate that befell Augusta Holmès. Over the passage of time her name has disappeared into obscurity, whilst that of her direct contemporary, Henri Duparc has grown and prospered. These days he's regarded as one of the leading figures of French song, yet it's still the case that relatively little is known about his life.

In Duparc's case his is a reputation built on the slenderest of musical means, some seventeen mélodies. By contrast, Holmès's Ode triomphale, which was written to mark the centenary of France's 1789 revolution, is the largest of a generous collection of large-scale orchestral works, to which you can add four operas, the last of which was mounted at the Paris Opera in 1895, as well as considerable catalogue of songs.

To shed light on Holmès's music, several of her works, including one of her symphonies, have been specially recorded by the BBC Performing Groups, as part of the Forgotten Women Composers project, which was developed by the BBC in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Helping Donald Macleod uncover more about the little-known Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc, is Anastasia Belina, a researcher with a particular interest in 19th-century music and women composers.

Duparc was a perfectionist, who was often driven to destroy his compositions. Today, a chance to hear his only surviving chamber work, a cello sonata.

Holmès: Molto lento
Luigi Magistrelli, clarinet
Claudia Bracco, piano

Duparc: Sérénade
Le manoir de Rosemonde
Soupir
Wolfgang Holzmair, baritone
Gérard Wyss, piano

Holmès: À Trianon
Katherine Eberle, mezzo soprano
Robin Guy, piano
Holmès: La chanson du chamelier
Eva Csapó, soprano
Alicja Masan, piano
Holmès: Reverie Tsigane (piano solo)
Anthony Goldstone, piano

Duparc: Sonata in A minor for cello and piano
Alain Meunier, cello
Anne le Bozec, piano

Holmès: Ouverture pour une comèdie
Rheinland-Pfalz Philharmonic
Samuel Friedman, conductor

202003A Time Of Conflict20200708Donald Macleod explores the music of Duparc and Holm\u00e8s.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Donald Macleod and Anastasia Belina look at how Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc fared during the Siege of Paris in 1870.

Imagine creating a grand spectacle that demands 1,200 performers, along with the most lavish sets and costumes. You might think that the figure behind such an extraordinary achievement would have staked a claim on immortality, yet despite achieving considerable fame in her own lifetime, this is not the fate that befell Augusta Holmès. Over the passage of time her name has disappeared into obscurity, whilst that of her direct contemporary, Henri Duparc has grown and prospered. These days he's regarded as one of the leading figures of French song, yet it's still the case that relatively little is known about his life.

In Duparc's case his is a reputation built on the slenderest of musical means, some seventeen mélodies. By contrast, Holmès's Ode triomphale, which was written to mark the centenary of France's 1789 revolution, is the largest of a generous collection of large scale orchestral works, to which you can also add four operas, the last of which was mounted at the Paris Opera in 1895, as well as considerable catalogue of songs.

To shed light on Holmès's music, several of her works, including one of her symphonies, have been specially recorded by the BBC Performing Groups, as part of the Forgotten Women Composers project, which was developed by the BBC in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Helping Donald Macleod uncover more about the little-known Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc, is Anastasia Belina, a researcher with a particular interest in 19th-century music and women composers.

Holmès and Duparc both contributed to the war effort, as a nurse, and as a member of the 18th Battalion. Yet despite the exigencies of their situation, music-making was still possible.

Holmès: La Haine (excerpt)
Rebecca de Pont Davies, mezzo contralto
Clare Toomer, piano

Duparc: La Vague et la cloche
Françoise Pollet, soprano
Orchestra Symphonique et lyrique de Nancy
Jérome Kaltenbach, conductor

Holmès: Memento mei deus
BBC Singers
Hilary Campbell, conductor

Duparc: Lénore, symphonic poem
Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Michel Plasson, director

Duparc: Au pays où se fait la guerre
Janet Baker, mezzo soprano
London Symphony Orchestra
André Previn, conductor

Holmès: Irlande
Rheinland-Pfalz Philharmonic
Samuel Friedman, conductor

202004France's Muse20200709Donald Macleod explores the music of Duparc and Holm\u00e8s with a rarely heard chamber work.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Donald Macleod and Anastasia Belina consider the cultural outlets Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc used to disseminate their ideas and music, with a rare chamber work by Holmès, specially recorded for the series by the BBC Singers, and Duparc's timeless song, Phidylé.

Imagine creating a grand spectacle that demands 1,200 performers, along with the most lavish sets and costumes. You might think that the figure behind such an extraordinary achievement would have staked a claim on immortality, yet despite achieving considerable fame in her own lifetime, this is not the fate that befell Augusta Holmès. Over the passage of time her name has disappeared into obscurity, whilst that of her direct contemporary, Henri Duparc has grown and prospered. These days he's regarded as one of the leading figures of French song, yet it's still the case that relatively little is known about his life.

In Duparc's case his is a reputation built on the slenderest of musical means, some seventeen mélodies. By contrast, Holmès's Ode triomphale, which was written to mark the centenary of France's 1789 revolution, is the largest of a generous collection of large-scale orchestral works, to which you can also add four operas, the last of which was mounted at the Paris Opera in 1895, as well as considerable catalogue of songs.

To shed light on Holmès's music, several of her works, including one of her symphonies, have been specially recorded by the BBC Performing Groups, as part of the Forgotten Women Composers project, which was developed by the BBC in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Helping Donald Macleod uncover more about the little-known Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc, is Anastasia Belina, a researcher with a particular interest in 19th-century music and women composers.

A celebrated figure by the 1880s, Holmès held a weekly salon of her own where she was able to present her own music, while Duparc was a prominent attendee at the most exclusive musical soirées in Paris.

Duparc: Sérénade Florentine
Thomas Allen, baritone
Roger Vignoles, piano

Duparc: Extase
Sarah Walker, mezzo soprano
Roger Vignoles, piano

Holmès: Pologne
Rheinland-Pfalz Philharmonic
Samuel Friedmann, conductor

Duparc: Le Galop
Romance de Mignon
Thomas Allen, baritone
Sarah Walker, mezzo soprano
Roger Vignoles, piano

Holmès: La vision de la Reine
BBC Singers
Morwenna del Mar, cello
Alison Martin, harp
Annabel Thwaite, piano
Hilary Campbell, conductor

Duparc: Phidylé
Kiri te Kanawa, soprano
Orchestre Symphonique de l'Opera National
Sir John Pritchard, conductor

202005 LASTWhen The Music Stops20200710Donald Macleod explores the music of Duparc and Holm\u00e8s with Duparc's La vie ant\u00e9rieure.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Donald Macleod and Anastasia Belina reflect on the very different characters of Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc with music including Duparc's La vie antérieure.

Imagine creating a grand spectacle that demands 1,200 performers, along with the most lavish sets and costumes. You might think that the figure behind such an extraordinary achievement would have staked a claim on immortality, yet despite achieving considerable fame in her own lifetime, this is not the fate that befell Augusta Holmès. Over the passage of time her name has disappeared into obscurity, whilst that of her direct contemporary, Henri Duparc has grown and prospered. These days he's regarded as one of the leading figures of French song, yet it's still the case that relatively little is known about his life.

In Duparc's case his is a reputation built on the slenderest of musical means, some seventeen mélodies. By contrast, Holmès's Ode triomphale, which was written to mark the centenary of France's 1789 revolution, is the largest of a generous collection of large-scale orchestral works, to which you can also add four operas, the last of which was mounted at the Paris Opera in 1895, as well as considerable catalogue of songs.

To shed light on Holmès's music, several of her works, including one of her symphonies, have been specially recorded by the BBC Performing Groups, as part of the Forgotten Women Composers project, a collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Helping Donald Macleod uncover more about the little-known Augusta Holmès and Henri Duparc, is Anastasia Belina, a researcher with a particular interest in19th-century music and women composers.

The failure of her opera La montagne noire was a huge disappointment to Holmès but it did not prevent her from working on new projects. Duparc's creative life came to an abrupt end through the re-appearance of a debilitating illness but despite a long compositional silence, his songs continued to find new audiences.

Holmès: La Nuit et l'Amour (from Ludus pro Patria)
Rheinland-Pfalz Philharmonic
Patrick Davin, conductor

Duparc: Élégie
Sarah Walker, mezzo soprano
Roger Vignoles, piano

Holmès: Le château du rêve
Eva Csapò, soprano
Alicja Masan, piano

Duparc: Danse lente
Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy
Jérome Kaltenbach, conductor

Holmès: Andromède
Rheinland-Pfalz Philharmonic
Samuel Friedmann, conductor

Duparc: La via antérieure
Christiane Karg, soprano
Bamberg Symphony
David Afkham, conductor