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Donald Macleod focuses on a special place that became central to Beach and her work as a composer.

Donald Macleod focuses on a special place that became central to Beach and her work as a composer.

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, Donald follows Beach to the MacDowell Colony, a unique artist's retreat in New Hampshire. The colony became an important sanctuary for her and is where she composed most of her later works.

Je demande à l’oiseau, Op 51 No 4
Hélène Guilmette, soprano
Martin Dubé, piano

A Hermit Thrush at Eve, Op 92 No 1
Kirsten Johnson, piano

A Hermit Thrush at Morn, Op 92 No 2
Kirsten Johnson, piano

Quartet for Strings, Op 89
Ambache

Symphony in E minor, Op 32 (Gaelic) (Allegro confuoco)
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Neeme Jarvi, conductor

Trois morceaux caractéristiques, Op 28
Kirsten Johnson, piano

Produced by Luke Whitlock, for BBC Wales

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Amy Beach

    A Hermit Thrush at Eve, Op 92 No 1

    Performer: Kirsten Johnson.
    • Guild GMCD7351.
    • Guild.
    • 13.
  • Amy Beach

    A Hermit Thrush At Morn, Op 92 No 2

    Performer: Kirsten Johnson.
    • Guild GMCD7351.
    • Guild.
    • 14.
  • Amy Beach

    String Quartet, Op 89

    Ensemble: Ambache Chamber Ensemble.
    • CHANDOS : CHAN-10162.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 1.
  • Amy Beach

    Symphony in E minor, Op 32 (Gaelic) (Allegro con fuoco)

    Performer: Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Neeme Järvi.
    • CHANDOS : CHAN-8958.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 3.
  • Amy Beach

    Trois morceaux caracteristiques, Op 28

    Performer: Kirsten Johnson.
    • GUILD : GMCD-7317.
    • Guild.
    • 19.

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