Clemency Burton-Hill has returned to host Classical Fix for a special one-off International Women’s Day episode of the programme – the first time she has presented an episode since she suffered a major brain haemorrhage at the start of 2020.
For this special episode of Classical Fix, Burton-Hill was joined by the new Woman’s Hour presenter and former Radio 5 Live presenter Emma Barnett. The pair spoke earlier this year in January when Burton-Hill appeared on Woman’s Hour to undertake her first interview since her brain haemorrhage.
Classical Fix is a programme and podcast produced by BBC Radio 3 in which Burton-Hill introduces her guests to a playlist of classical music she has curated especially for them. She has been presenting the programme since its launch in July 2018, with conductor Jules Buckley filling in as guest presenter over the last year in Burton-Hill’s absence.
Although the representation of female and composers from diverse backgrounds is always present in Burton-Hill’s Classical Fix playlists, this episode exclusively featured works written by women. Because Burton-Hill’s speech is still recovering and she finds names difficult to say, Barnett introduced each of the pieces on the episode’s playlist.
In the episode, Barnett gave her opinions on each piece with Burton-Hill explaining a little about the background of the composers and their work, as well as discussing her brain injury and the role music has played in her recovery.
Barnett outlines her musical tastes, the story of when she walked out of a performance of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, the music she listens to while writing scripts for Woman’s Hour and Newsnight and the influence of music and culture on her Jewish ancestors.
The pieces featured in the International Women’s Day episode of Classical Fix are listed below:
Maria Szymanowska: Nocturne in A-Flat Major ‘La Murmure’
Anna Meredith: Moonmoons
Margaret Bonds/Langston Hughes: Dream Variation (from Three Dream Portraits)
Lera Auerbach: 24 Preludes for violin and piano op.46 (no.8)
Florence Price: Nimble Feet (from Dances in the Canebrakes)