Women Of The Macdowell Colony

Episodes

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01A Place for the Arts20160314

01A Place for the Arts20160314

Focusing on Marian MacDowell, instrumental in setting up the MacDowell artists' colony.

01A Place For The Arts20160314

You can see why composers love the place: birches, beeches, maples, breathtaking natural beauty and, above all, silence. Since composer Edward MacDowell founded his 'colony' in 1907 some five thousand artists have visited to find inspiration and peace.

Among the so-called colonists are more than a century of women composers who have left their work on classical music. This week Donald Macleod explores the breadth and impact of their work and recalls his own trip to the colony, soaking up the beauty of the site in the dazzling colours of Fall in New England.

Today that crimson light falls partly on Marian MacDowell, pianist wife of Edward, who was instrumental not just in setting up the colony but also had carte blanche in the early days to select who came. There's music from 19-time visitor Marion Bauer, Chinese composer Wenhui Xie, and also Amy Beach who left considerable funds to the Colony after her death in 1944. We also hear from Marian MacDowell's biographer, Robin Rausch.

Beach: A Hermit Thrush at Morn, Op. 92 No. 2

Joanne Polk, piano

Wenhui Xie: Sonettia a Orfeo

Alda Caiello, soprano

Maldo Bonifacio, director

Bauer: Viola Sonata (1935)

3rd movement, Allegro

Arnold Steinhardt, viola

Virginia Eskin, piano

Beach: Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, Op.45 (1898-1899)

1st movement, Allegro moderato

Alan Feinberg, piano

Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Kenneth Schermerhorn, conductor

Beach: From Grandmother's Garden, Op.97

Virgin Eskin, piano.

Focusing on Marian MacDowell, instrumental in setting up the MacDowell artists' colony.

01A Place for the Arts20160314

You can see why composers love the place: birches, beeches, maples, breathtaking natural beauty and, above all, silence. Since composer Edward MacDowell founded his 'colony' in 1907 some five thousand artists have visited to find inspiration and peace.

Among the so-called colonists are more than a century of women composers who have left their work on classical music. This week Donald Macleod explores the breadth and impact of their work and recalls his own trip to the colony, soaking up the beauty of the site in the dazzling colours of Fall in New England.

Today that crimson light falls partly on Marian MacDowell, pianist wife of Edward, who was instrumental not just in setting up the colony but also had carte blanche in the early days to select who came. There's music from 19-time visitor Marion Bauer, Chinese composer Wenhui Xie, and also Amy Beach who left considerable funds to the Colony after her death in 1944. We also hear from Marian MacDowell's biographer, Robin Rausch.

Beach: A Hermit Thrush at Morn, Op. 92 No. 2

Joanne Polk, piano

Wenhui Xie: Sonettia a Orfeo

Alda Caiello, soprano

Maldo Bonifacio, director

Bauer: Viola Sonata (1935)

3rd movement, Allegro

Arnold Steinhardt, viola

Virginia Eskin, piano

Beach: Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, Op.45 (1898-1899)

1st movement, Allegro moderato

Alan Feinberg, piano

Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Kenneth Schermerhorn, conductor

Beach: From Grandmother's Garden, Op.97

Virgin Eskin, piano.

02Colony Hall20160315

02Colony Hall20160315

Donald Macleod and music historian Robin Rausch uncover more of the the music inspired by the idyllic setting of the MacDowell 'colony'. Today the beauty of New England takes centre stage in a musical response to the shadows and shapes of the colony's woodlands. And if there were any doubting the cultural significance of the site we gauge the impact of five tranquil summers which helped Amy Beach compose fifty works at a time when the rise of modernism was setting stern challenges to every composer.

Bauer: From the New Hampshire Woods, Op.12 (White Birches)Virginia Eskin, piano

Bauer: Concertino for Oboe, Clarinet and Strings, Op.32b

Jeremy Polmear, oboe

Eli Eban, clarinet

Ambache Ensemble

Crawford Seeger: Violin Sonata

Mia Wu, violin

Cheryl Seltzer, piano

Crawford Seeger: Music for Small Orchestra

Schönberg Ensemble

Oliver Knussen, conductor

Beach: Quartet for Strings in One Movement, Op.89

The Lark Quartet

Mary Howe: Stars

Vienna Symphony Orchestra

William Strickland, conductor.

02Colony Hall20160315

Music by Marion Bauer, Amy Beach, Ruth Crawford Seeger and Mary Howe.

02Colony Hall20160315

Music by Marion Bauer, Amy Beach, Ruth Crawford Seeger and Mary Howe.

Donald Macleod and music historian Robin Rausch uncover more of the the music inspired by the idyllic setting of the MacDowell 'colony'. Today the beauty of New England takes centre stage in a musical response to the shadows and shapes of the colony's woodlands. And if there were any doubting the cultural significance of the site we gauge the impact of five tranquil summers which helped Amy Beach compose fifty works at a time when the rise of modernism was setting stern challenges to every composer.

Bauer: From the New Hampshire Woods, Op.12 (White Birches)Virginia Eskin, piano

Bauer: Concertino for Oboe, Clarinet and Strings, Op.32b

Jeremy Polmear, oboe

Eli Eban, clarinet

Ambache Ensemble

Crawford Seeger: Violin Sonata

Mia Wu, violin

Cheryl Seltzer, piano

Crawford Seeger: Music for Small Orchestra

Schönberg Ensemble

Oliver Knussen, conductor

Beach: Quartet for Strings in One Movement, Op.89

The Lark Quartet

Mary Howe: Stars

Vienna Symphony Orchestra

William Strickland, conductor.

03Natural Forces20160316

03Natural Forces20160316

How artists rallied to rebuild the MacDowell Colony after a storm devastated it in 1938.

03Natural Forces20160316

The colony is tested to the full by a storm, in 1938, which destroys much of the site including 250 acres of woodland. Donald Macleod and historian Robin Rausch explore the role of composers such as Amy Beach as artists rallied to rebuild their treasured haven. And he also relives his own visit in 2007 when he took on a meals-on-wheel role, delivering lunches to 32 artist studios across the site. Plus, we hear another response to the colony's glorious surroundings, this time from composer Mabel Daniels who returned to MacDowell over 25 summers.

Bauer: Trio Sonata No 1 for Flute, Cello and Piano, Op.40 (1944) - 1st movt

Jonathan Snowden, flute

Judith Herbert, cello

Diana Ambache, piano

Amy Beach: Improvisations, Op.148

Kirsten Johnson, piano

Mabel Daniels: Deep Forest (1931)

Imperial Philharmonic Orchestra Tokyo

William Strickland, conductor

Beach: Piano Trio, Op.150 (1939)

The Ambache Ensemble

Bauer: Symphonic Suite (1940)

Ambache Chamber Orchestra.

How artists rallied to rebuild the MacDowell Colony after a storm devastated it in 1938.

03Natural Forces20160316

The colony is tested to the full by a storm, in 1938, which destroys much of the site including 250 acres of woodland. Donald Macleod and historian Robin Rausch explore the role of composers such as Amy Beach as artists rallied to rebuild their treasured haven. And he also relives his own visit in 2007 when he took on a meals-on-wheel role, delivering lunches to 32 artist studios across the site. Plus, we hear another response to the colony's glorious surroundings, this time from composer Mabel Daniels who returned to MacDowell over 25 summers.

Bauer: Trio Sonata No 1 for Flute, Cello and Piano, Op.40 (1944) - 1st movt

Jonathan Snowden, flute

Judith Herbert, cello

Diana Ambache, piano

Amy Beach: Improvisations, Op.148

Kirsten Johnson, piano

Mabel Daniels: Deep Forest (1931)

Imperial Philharmonic Orchestra Tokyo

William Strickland, conductor

Beach: Piano Trio, Op.150 (1939)

The Ambache Ensemble

Bauer: Symphonic Suite (1940)

Ambache Chamber Orchestra.

04A New Direction20160317

04A New Direction20160317

Discussing composer Louise Talma, who had 43 residences at the MacDowell Colony.

04A New Direction20160317

How many ways are there of looking at a blackbird? At least 13, in the musical eyes of the intensely private and eccentric composer Louise Talma. Donald Macleod explores the life and work of this true MacDowell junkie who notched up an incredible 43 residences, with help from Talma's biographer Kendra Preston Leonard.

Plus, the loss of Marian MacDowell as director of the colony brings both searching artistic questions and also financial crisis to the artists' community. Historian Robin Rausch charts how the colony found a new footing.

Howe: Interlude between 2 pieces (1942): "Traits"

Emerson Meyers, piano

Wallace Mann, flute

Chamber Arts Society of Catholic University of America

Talma: Variations on 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Nanette McGuinness, soprano

Jan Roberts-Hayden, flute

Sylvie Beaudette,piano

Howe: Pieces after Emily Dickinson (1941)

Werner Lywen, violin

George Steiner, violin

Norman Lamb, viola

John Martin, cello

Talma: Full Circle (1985)

Ambache Chamber Orchestra

Diana Ambache, conductor.

Discussing composer Louise Talma, who had 43 residences at the MacDowell Colony.

04A New Direction20160317

How many ways are there of looking at a blackbird? At least 13, in the musical eyes of the intensely private and eccentric composer Louise Talma. Donald Macleod explores the life and work of this true MacDowell junkie who notched up an incredible 43 residences, with help from Talma's biographer Kendra Preston Leonard.

Plus, the loss of Marian MacDowell as director of the colony brings both searching artistic questions and also financial crisis to the artists' community. Historian Robin Rausch charts how the colony found a new footing.

Howe: Interlude between 2 pieces (1942): "Traits"

Emerson Meyers, piano

Wallace Mann, flute

Chamber Arts Society of Catholic University of America

Talma: Variations on 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Nanette McGuinness, soprano

Jan Roberts-Hayden, flute

Sylvie Beaudette,piano

Howe: Pieces after Emily Dickinson (1941)

Werner Lywen, violin

George Steiner, violin

Norman Lamb, viola

John Martin, cello

Chamber Arts Society of Catholic University of America

Talma: Full Circle (1985)

Ambache Chamber Orchestra

Diana Ambache, conductor.

05Crossing Boundaries20160318

05Crossing Boundaries20160318

Donald Macleod on the breadth of disciplines exhibited by the MacDowell Colony's artists.

05Crossing Boundaries20160318

The numbers tell at least part of the story: 200 visiting artists each year, many of them recurrent visitors, and 73 Pulitzer Prizes already notched up by the 'fellows', as past residents are known.

For his final visit to the colony Donald Macleod explores the breadth of disciplines exhibited by the artists, musicians such as Meredith Monk who represents the heart of MacDowell's vision of the visitors' cabins as places where creators could explore every facet of their craft and interests.

And we also hear from some of the British composers who have breathed the New Hampshire air, including Errollyn Wallen and the Oxford-born Charlotte Bray.

Meredith Monk: Skeleton Lines

Meredith Monk, voice and piano

Allison Sniffin, piano

John Hollenbeck, percussion

Bohdan Hilash, clarinet

Theo Bleckman, piano

Charlotte Bray: At the Speed of Stillness

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Violin Concerto

Pamela Frank, violin

Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra

Michael Stern, conductor

Errollyn Wallen: Daedalus

Errollyn Wallen, soprano

Brodsky Quartet.

Donald Macleod on the breadth of disciplines exhibited by the MacDowell Colony's artists.

05Crossing Boundaries20160318

The numbers tell at least part of the story: 200 visiting artists each year, many of them recurrent visitors, and 73 Pulitzer Prizes already notched up by the 'fellows', as past residents are known.

For his final visit to the colony Donald Macleod explores the breadth of disciplines exhibited by the artists, musicians such as Meredith Monk who represents the heart of MacDowell's vision of the visitors' cabins as places where creators could explore every facet of their craft and interests.

And we also hear from some of the British composers who have breathed the New Hampshire air, including Errollyn Wallen and the Oxford-born Charlotte Bray.

Meredith Monk: Skeleton Lines

Meredith Monk, voice & piano

Allison Sniffin, piano

John Hollenbeck, percussion

Bohdan Hilash, clarinet

Theo Bleckman, piano

Charlotte Bray: At the Speed of Stillness

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Violin Concerto

Pamela Frank, violin

Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra

Michael Stern, conductor

Errollyn Wallen: Daedalus

Errollyn Wallen, soprano

Brodsky Quartet.