Ladies vs Beethoven? It must be funnier in Swedish

The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic has decided to mark Beethoven year with all nine symphonies, each paired with a work by a female composer.

The beneficiaries will be Ethel Smyth, Amy Beach, Dora Pejacevic, Louise Farrenc, all 19th century; Kaija Saariaho and Sally Beamish of the 20th; and two youngsters, Britta Byström and Lotta Wennäkoski.

They are calling the series Ladies versus Beethoven (LvB).

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  • I believe Schoenberg once remarked that Dora Pejacevic is a proof that a woman can not be a good composer.

  • It is the same everywhere now. If you want to listen to great music, you need to be prepared to suffer through a modern piece, largely forgettable and often unpleasant, whether written by a man or a woman. And…there is no vs, the women composers have already lost to Beethoven, before they even started

    • And it is much more common that if you want to hear something novel and innovative, you have to listen to the umpteenth uninspired rendition of a Beethoven symphony (or worse, a piano concerto).

      • Spot on… how many times I had to leave the concert at the break (after hearing something slightly original) because afterwards was coming Beethoven’s Erioca, Schuberts unfinished, Dvoraks New World or Pictures at an Exhibition… 🙁

    • If it were still socially and professionally acceptable to write great music, then you’d hear great new music.

  • Pejacevic lived 15 years in the 19th and 24 in the 20th century and was writing pretty daring stuff towards the end of her all too short life.
    Are they doing her symphony?

  • I checked which piece by Amy Beach was going to be played (the Gaelic symphony), and saw that the Philharmonic will not be performing it, rather the Norrkoping Symphony. Perhaps other orchestras will perform on some of the other programs?

  • Typically nonsensical modern programming, pandering to the current PC lobby instead of to the public’s musical tastes.

  • There’s absolutely nothing wrong with featuring these composers. The problem is in the marketing, why does it have to be “ladies” and “versus?” If you put Beethoven and Mendelssohn on a program is it “Beethoven vs. Mendelssohn?”

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