The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Thanks to the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society celebrating women, you can hear this beautiful Romance for violin and piano LIVE tonight in Madison and Sunday night in Spring Green | June 9, 2018

By Jacob Stockinger

Tonight and Sunday night bring the second of six programs on the 27th annual summer series by the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society.

The theme of the whole series, along with the number 27, is “Toy Stories” and this particular program is called “American Girls” because it features so much music written by women composers — something in keeping with the timeliness and relevance of the #MeToo movement.

The first performance is TONIGHT, Saturday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. in The Playhouse at the Overture Center. The second performance is tomorrow, Sunday, June 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hillside Theater of Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright compound in Spring Green.

For more information about the BDDS season and about buying tickets ($43 and $48), go to or to:

Included in the “American Girls” program is the very lyrical and beautiful Romance for Violin and Piano, Op. 23, by American composer Amy Beach (below).

If you want a taste of what awaits you if you go, at the bottom is a YouTube video of Chicago violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who has appeared in Madison with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, performing the Romance by Beach at the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert.

Pine also explains the context that includes a very famous American woman violin virtuoso, Maud Powell, whom The Ear — and probably most others –had never heard of before.

The Romance will be performed tonight and Sunday night by BDDS veteran Yura Lee (below). She is an outstanding violinist and violist who hails from New York City and performs with the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

The rest of the program includes: “Chambi’s Dreams: Snapshots for an Andean Album” for flute, violin and piano by living composer Gabriela Lena Frank (below top); “Qi” for flute, cello, piano and percussion by Chen Yi (below middle); the Piano Trio in C Major, Hob. XV:27 by Franz Joseph Haydn; and the Piano Trio by American composer Rebecca Clarke (below bottom, above the YouTube video).


  1. You are right about the Haydn piano trio not fitting into the American Girl theme. But it is No. 27, which fits in with the numerology and theme of this being the 27th annual session of the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society.


    Comment by welltemperedear — June 9, 2018 @ 7:27 am

    • Sorry but that seems like a bit of a stretch and it is still out of place: there were other, better options. But then, I’m one who thinks pretty much all of Haydn is a stretch, especially his larger works (I actually like some of his chamber music). His “masterpiece” (“The Creation”) is so boring it would put any god to sleep.

      Plus, you have all those errant announcers out there claiming (as one recently did on WPR) that Haydn was “the father of the symphony” (wrong!); or that he he died young (amazingly enough stated by a young man associated with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony) in the presence of Norman Guilliland (who did not correct the errant youth) whereas in fact he was 77 when he died at a time in history when most people died before 45.

      Other wrong claims: “Papa Haydn” (actually he married late and maybe had one son (who it is commonly known was a bastard); he “fathered” the string quartet (it actually existed years before him), etc. That he was “the” teacher of Beethoven (he was “a” teacher of Beethoven and Beethoven did not have kind words for him, saying he never learned anything from Haydn. To Beethoven, Handel was God. There is a kind of cottage industry of falsehoods that has been built around this man.


      Comment by fflambeau — June 10, 2018 @ 12:42 am

  2. It’s a nice program except for the Haydn which does not seem to fit into the idea of “American girl” (although it was dedicated to a female violinist which seems a bit of a stretch). There are actually quite a few trios written by female composers, many from America including: Jennifer Higdon; Louise Farrenc; Stacy Garrop; Rebecca Clarke; Lera Auerbach; and, Ruby Fulton.

    Then there are lots of males who are not in the mainstream: like Astor Piazzolla also wrote a nice piece called “4 Seasons in Buenos Aires” for he same grouping or Bright Sheng’s “4 movements for piano trio”.


    Comment by fflambeau — June 9, 2018 @ 3:45 am

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