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Donald Macleod follows Amy Beach as she travels beyond the borders of her homeland, America, for the first time.

Donald Macleod follows Amy Beach as she travels beyond the borders of her homeland, America, for the first time.

Amy Beach was born in the 19th century and, like all women composers of her generation, she found her path to greatness strewn with obstacles. This week, Donald Macleod charts her struggle to take control of her own destiny and become one of America’s most cherished cultural figures; a composer who helped lead her nation into the mainstream of classical music. Famed conductor, Leopold Stokowski noted that her symphony was “full of real music, without any pretence or effects but just real, sincere, simple and deep music.”

Today’s programme sees Amy Beach liberated by her husband's death and embarking on her first tour of Europe. Beach sought to rejuvenate her career as both a composer and concert pianist with this tour, performing her own highly acclaimed piano concerto.

Autumn Song, Op 56 No 1
Kyle Bielfield, tenor
Lachlan Glen, piano

Prelude Op 81
Kirsten Johnson, piano

Der Totenkranz, Op 73 No 2
Katherine Kelton, mezzo-soprano
Catherine Bringerud, piano

The Candy Lion, Op 75 No 1
Katherine Kelton, mezzo-soprano
Catherine Bringerud, piano

Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, Op 45
Danny Driver, piano
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Rebecca Miller, conductor

On a Hill
Guadalupe Kreysa, soprano
Paul Hardy, piano

Produced by Luke Whitlock, for BBC Wales

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Amy Beach

    Autumn Song, Op 56 No 1

    Performer: Lachlan Glen. Singer: Kyle Bielfield.
    • DELOS DE3445.
    • DELOS.
    • 1.
  • Amy Beach

    Prelude, Op 81

    Performer: Kirsten Johnson.
    • GUILD GMCD7351.
    • GUILD.
    • 9.
  • Amy Beach

    Der Totenkranz, Op 73 No 2

    Performer: Catherine Bringerud. Singer: Katherine Kelton.
    • NAXOS 8559191.
    • NAXOS.
    • 29.
  • Amy Beach

    The Candy Lion, Op 75 No 1

    Performer: Catherine Bringerud. Singer: Katherine Kelton.
    • Naxos 8559191.
    • Naxos.
    • 30.
  • Amy Beach

    Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, Op 45

    Performer: Danny Driver. Performer: BBC Scottish Symphony. Conductor: Rebecca Miller.
    • Hyperion : CDA68130.
    • Hyperion.
    • 2.
  • Amy Beach

    On a Hill

    Performer: Paul Hardy. Singer: Guadalupe Kreysa.
    • ALBANY TROY295.
    • ALBANY.
    • 6.

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