Feminine Fusion

S5-24: One Life – Ethel Smyth


“[Smyth is] one of the few women composers whom one can seriously consider to be achieving something valuable in the field of musical creation.”  – P.I. Tchaikovsky

Headstrong and independent, Dame Ethel Smyth led a life that included music, fighting for women’s rights, and working in a WWI hospital in France.  This episode takes a look at her life, her achievements, and her music.


One Life: Ethel Smyth


Two Interlinked French Melodies
City of Prague Philharmonic; Gavin Sutherland, conductor
“Entente Cordiale”
White Line 2014

Quintet for 2 violins, viola & 2 cellos in E major, Op. 1 (excerpts)
Mannheim String Quartet; Joachim Griesheimer, cello
“Ethel Smyth: String Quartet; String Quintet”
CPO 999352

Mass in D (excerpts)
Susanna Hurrell, soprano; Catriona Morison, mezzo-soprano; Ben Johnson, tenor; Duncan Rock, baritone
BBC Symphony Orchestra; BBC Symphony Chorus
Sakari Oramo, conductor
“Dame Ethel Smyth: Mass in D & Overture to ‘The Wreckers'”
Chandos 5240

March of the Women
Eiddwen Harry, soloist
Chorus and Orchestra of the Plymouth Music Series; Philip Brunelle, director
“British Composers: A Celebration”
Warner Classics 0954802

Overture to “The Wreckers”
BBC Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo, conductor
“Dame Ethel Smyth: Mass in D & Overture to ‘The Wreckers'”
Chandos 5240

Concerto for Violin, Horn and Orchestra (excerpts)
BBC Philharmonic; Odaline de la Martinez, conductor
“Smyth: Serenade in D & Concerto for violin, horn & orchestra”
Chandos 9449




Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women in classical music. Host Diane Jones brings you stories and music of the women who create, perform, and inspire. Produced in the studios at WCNY-FM.

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