The new issue of Signature: Women in Music has just hit the streets: well, at least the World Wide Web. This e-journal is surely one of the finest musicological magazines in the entire field of the subject. And that is not just because I have an article about the 'forgotten' composer Bluebell Klean in these pages! I have been allowed by the Journal's editor, Pamela Blevins to quote from the editorial to give a feel to the contents of this 'bumper' summer edition.
"In this issue we are moving forward through time, starting with song composer Josephine Lang in the 19th century to Olga Samaroff, Myra Hess and Elinor Remick Warren in the 20th century and Meira Warshauer in the 21st century. Each woman made or is making significant contributions to music. Some like the little-known Bluebell Klean fell into obscurity while others like Liza Lehmann enjoyed success in more than one field of music."
From a British music point of view, the key articles are those about Lehmann, (dare I say it) Klean and Myra Hess...and an important CD review of Doreen Carwithen's film music.
"Pianist Myra Hess is still well known in Britain, particularly for her life-enhancing concerts during the dark years of World War II, but she is not as well known today in the United States. John K. Adams, who had the privilege of knowing Hess, provides insights into her as an artist and as a woman and recounts her experiences in America."Musicologist and critic Marion Scott (1877-1953) who knew composer-singer Liza Lehmann provides a look at her through a review of Lehmann’s autobiography. A new CD of film music by English composer Doreen Carwithen raises the question “what might have been?” had Carwithen be given the opportunities of her male contemporaries in the film industry. Although her contribution did not contain any well-known films, she had the stuff of greatness as her music reveals."
However all the articles are of tremendous interest to those interested in music and/or the advancement of women in what was/is largely a man’s world.
Finally, one of the most important features of this journal is the quality of the numerous photographs of composer and musicians. Virtually all are seen here for the first time and add a considerable value to the magazine.
Read the Maud Powell SIGNATURE Journal on-line.