The best of Smyth
Five unmissable works
Serenade in D (1890)
Written after she returned to England from Germany, this striking four-movement orchestral Serenade is influenced by Brahms. Premiered at the Crystal Palace, the work brought Smyth public success.
Mass in D (1893)
This substantial six-part Mass was premiered at the Royal Albert Hall and was, George Bernard Shaw came to believe, ‘magnificent’.
Yet after writing it, Smyth lost her religious (High Anglican) faith.
The Wreckers (1902)
Thomas Beecham conducted the English premiere of Smyth’s salty Cornish opera in 1909, after the opera’s earlier turbulent start in Leipzig. It went on to be staged at Covent Garden in 1910.
The Boatswain’s Mate (1914)
This comic two-acter was Smyth’s most successful opera in her lifetime. The sparkling score features the tune that became The March of the Women.
Concerto for violin and horn (1928)
By the time Smyth penned this concerto, she was dealing with deafness. The craggy opening movement leads to a lyrical Elegy and a dancing finale.
Dogged spirit: Smyth and canine chum