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The music of Ethel Smyth

Kate Kennedy for Building a Library surveys the music of Dame Ethel Smyth.

Kate Kennedy for Building a Library surveys the music of Dame Ethel Smyth.

As part of Radio 3's celebration of International Women's Day, Kate Kennedy explores the music of an underrated English composer and a member of the women's suffrage movement. Smyth showed tenacity and courage in pursuing her career as a composer at a time when this was an unusual path for women. Sir Thomas Beecham visited her when she was in prison for her political activities, and discovered her leaning out of a window conducting with a toothbrush as her fellow inmates marched around the prison yard.

Recommended recording: The Boatswain’s Mate

Nadine Benjamin (Mrs Waters), Edward Lee (Harry Benn), Jeremy Huw Williams (Ned Travers), Simon Wilding (Policeman), Ted Schmitz (The Man), Rebecca Louise Dale (Mary Ann), Lontano Ensemble, Odaline de la Martinez (conductor)
RETROSPECT OPERA RO001

Other recommended recordings:
Below is a shortlist of other recordings which Kate Kennedy also recommends

SMYTH: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor Op. 7
Clare Howick (violin), Sophia Rahman (piano)
NAXOS 8572291 (CD)

Ethel Smyth: Complete Piano Works
Liana Serbescu (piano)
CPO 9993272 (Download only)

Release date:

Duration:

50 minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
Composer Dame Ethel Smyth

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