Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Ruth Gipps' birthday

Today (20th February) is the ninety-eighth anniversary of Ruth Gipps' birth.  It seems a good moment to record some developments of the past year which, excitingly, seem to be reviving the reputation of this hitherto-undersung composer.

Firstly there was the United States première of her second Symphony, which the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra gave on the the 31st March last year:

Then there is the new recording of both the second and the fourth symphony, along with two other unrecorded pieces, by Rumon Gamba and the National Orchestra of Wales, issued by the Chandos label in December.

Her music seems to have appeared in several concerts in various places, as well.

It's very exciting that more and more people are discovering and enjoying her music — I think it is proof that hers was a distinctive, authentic voice, and that her music was real music, wrought to last.  Her unashamed rootedness in the tonal musical tradition cost her dearly during her lifetime, but it has meant that her music has survived the tribulations of fashion and emerged fresh and sparkling for new generations to enjoy.  I am really hopeful that her approaching centenary will bring us opportunities to hear even more of her music.