Music and Vision homepage Jenna Orkin: Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush With Death - From the heights of greatness (the Juilliard School; musicians Rosalyn Tureck and Nadia Boulanger) via way-ward paths to the depths of wickedness these reminiscences will entertain and enlighten.

 

<<  -- 2 --  Peter Dale    SMYTH'S MASS

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The Mass is coupled with Mrs Water's Aria from The Boatswain's Mate. Eiddwen Harrhy sings it tenderly enough [listen -- track 8, 0:59 -- 1:53], but the piece is of very little intrinsic merit. The March of the Women has an Elgarian swagger to it, but it hardly persuades as music rather than muster call.

So we are left once again with just the occasionally played, quite often recorded, Overture to The Wreckers by which to get acquainted with Ethel Smyth. Looking her up in dictionaries (or reading the sleeve notes here) you could be forgiven for thinking that she is more interesting for her sexual politics than for her music. That may indeed be the case, but I suspect that when we eventually do get a first class performance of the Mass, it is the musician rather than the suffragette who will come out on top.

 

Copyright © 22 April 2001 Peter Dale, Danbury, Essex, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - EMI 7 243 5 67426 2 8

 

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