Philharmonia Northwest: Songs of Life – Music by Female Composers, Past & Present
Emily Doolittle — Reedbird
Sheila Silver — Being In Life
Emily Doolittle – Reedbird for winds and brass
Sheila Silver – Being In Life – Concerto for French horn and Alpenhorn, Tibetan singing bowls, and string orchestra (new commission)
Amy Beach – Symphony in E minor, Op. 32 “Gaelic”
Our season opens with vibrant music by female composers. Emily Doolittle’s Reedbird takes its themes from the slowed-down songs of a small New World blackbird, normally too fast for human listeners to understand.
The warm and mystical tones of Sheila Silver’s Being In Life, inspired by the short life of a musical little boy, come both from its use of Hindustani prayer melodies and from its unusual instrumentation: French Horn and Alpenhorn solos, with string orchestra and Tibetan singing bowls. Being in Life was commissioned by a generous grant from the Fromm Music Foundation, 2018.
Lastly comes Amy Beach’s magnificent “Gaelic” Symphony. Rooted in romanticism, it represents one of the earliest symphonic voices of American music.