This week on Classicalis our female composer of note is the French composer Louise Farrenc, who both played the piano and composed for it and other instruments with exceptional talent. In some ways she blazed a trail for successful modern women by demanding – and receiving – equal pay to her male peers! Another trailblazing woman featured this week is Maria Callas, here singing from both Bizet’s Carmen (one of my personal favourite classical pieces – I have quite a few!) and Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro. A third woman to listen out for this week is Amira Willighagen, winner of Holland’s Got Talent at the tender age of just 9 years old. Here a few years older but still demonstrating a talent that belies her years she is singing with Gissur Páll Gissurarson in a duet of Ave Maria by JS Bach/Charles Gounod.
Alongside these ladies we have pieces by the British composer Vaughan Williams as well as by George Gershwin, Tomaso Albinoni, Johan Hasse and Jean-Baptiste Lully. We also have a US piece by John Philip Sousa, who was most famous for composing US military marches.
Finally, worth a mention is Francisco Tárrega. The name might not mean much to many people, however he composed one of the most recognisable jingles in the modern Western world. It is so ubiquitous that I did not even realise it was taken from an actual composed piece of music – have a listen to it here! I’m still looking for a performance of Gran Vals that has appropriate copyright permissions to use on this website. In the meantime, please enjoy another of his pieces!