Interviews, conversations, colloquies, and lectures on Clarke’s life and works, and the world she lived in
The first serious attempt (that we’re aware of, this half-century) to examine Clarke’s contribution to viola-playing through her performance practice, repertoire-choices, and cultivation of a broad audience in the early days of radio, Caroline Castleton’s virtual presentation at the 47th International Viola Congress on June 2, 2022, breaks fascinating new ground all over the place, while offering a preview of Castleton’s potentially transformative doctoral dissertation, currently in the works at the University of Maryland (click here, then search for “Castleton,” click on the link, then scroll down for a précis). There’s a lot to think about here, but one thing in particular blew us away: the simple, practical insight that virtuosos must compose their own music in order to have showcases worthy of their skills—an obvious point, once it’s made, but Castleton was the first to apply it to Clarke.
TALKING ABOUT SONGS
In a podcast from The Red House, the former home of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, Dr. Lucy Walker, the organization’s Head of Public Engagement, talks with Dr. Natasha Loges, Head of Postgraduate Programmes at the Royal College of Music, about songs on the concert stage and in the home, the relationships that inspire composers to write them, and the ever-changing conventions of song performance, with particular emphasis on Rebecca Clarke. A few of the broader cultural generalizations do not apply to Clarke—almost from the beginning of her career, for example, she had full access to “the structure” of the music-trade, and commanded support from performers who were world-class before the term was invented—but on the whole this is a refreshingly practical take on the world reflected in Clarke’s diaries and conversations, challenging much received wisdom about “intimacy” and “the domestic sphere.”
A HALF-CENTURY WITH REBECCA CLARKE
Christopher Johnson, Clarke’s great-nephew-by-marriage, talks about his nine years working with Clarke, and his fifty years working with her music, in an interview with Robert Cruz, for the Carrefour Chamber Music Project. (Please note that there are a few unavoidable streaming herky-jerks in the discussion of Stanford. It is not your computer.)