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Ethel Smyth (1858 - 1944)

2: Two Traditions

Tuesday 13 July 2004 12:00-13:00 (Radio 3)

Repeated: Tuesday 20 July 2004 0:00-1:00 (Radio 3)

Whilst studying in Leipzig, Ethel Smyth was able to move in the most influential musical circles through her friendship with the von Herzogenberg family and also the conductor George Henschel. These connections enabled Smyth to show her work to Brahms, and to become friends with Tchaikovsky, Grieg and Clara Schumann. She studied composition with Heinrich von Herzogenberg, who founded the Bach-Verein in 1874 and became its leader a year later.

On her return to England Smyth was again assisted by her social connections. It was largely due to the efforts of her patroness Princess Eugenie, which included organising a private performance by Smyth herself singing and playing the piano for Queen Victoria at Balmoral, that the Mass in D was ever performed.

Odaline de la Martinez joins Donald Macleod to discuss the German trends evident in Ethel Smyth's music and the gradual evolution of her own style.


1 hour


Der Verirrte Jaeger
Martin Koningsberger (baritone), Kelvin Grout (piano)
Troubadisc TRO-CD 01417
Track 7
1st movement Trio for Piano Violin and cello in D minor
Chagall Trio
Meridian CDE 84286
Track 1
Piano Sonata no.3 in D major
Liana Serbescu (piano)
CPO 999 327-2
CD2 Tracks 1 to 2
Gloria from Mass in D
Soloists with the Plymouth Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Philip Brunelle
Virgin Classics 0777 7590222-8
Track 6
Prelude to Act 2, The Wreckers
BBC Philharmonic, Odaline de la Martinez
Conifer Classics CDCF 25/10
CD2 Track 1

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