IF ever a programme fitted a concept like a glove, then it was the penultimate concert on Friday of the BBC Radio 3/RCS collaboration, Women in the Shadows, an exploration of the plight, if that's not too strong a word, of women in the arts through history.
The case study on Friday was a fascinating one because it juxtaposed the Mendelssohns, brother and sister Felix and Fanny. Felix of course was a child genius who grew to be one of the most famous and influential composers of his time, and whose music endures.
But his musical and gifted sister Fanny was actively discouraged from music by her father on the grounds that she had womanly duties to perform and music could be no more than "an ornament". She married and her husband rode to the rescue, allowing her to operate to a degree, though she remains a footnote.
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That was the basis for constructing Friday's concert programme, and the results, through the radiant singing of soprano Sophie Daneman, the bronzed and burnished bass baritone of Stefan Loges and the immaculately gauged and sensitive pianism of Simon Lepper, were as charming and delightful as they were revealing of the music of both brother and sister.
The programme, launched (of course) with Felix's great On Wings of Song, flowed like oil, with songs and the delightful piano pieces, Songs Without Words, juxtaposed with Fanny's take on the same idiom; and she had her own voice, not perhaps kissed with the genius of her brother's, but fluent, warmly Romantic, and extremely expressive. Crowning glory of the concert was the singers' performance of Felix's immensely characterful opus 63 Six Duets.