29 October 2012

Alice Mary Smith

EAC | FLAC + CUE | Covers | 285 Mb

Date CD: March 22, 2005 | Chandos | 66:04

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Because of Mendelssohn's dominance of British music in the Victorian era, it is unsurprising that Alice Mary Smith's Symphony in C minor (1863), her Andante for clarinet and orchestra (1872-1873), and the Symphony in A minor (1876) all bear the influence of the Leipzig master, as she received it from her teachers. One might stop there and dismiss Smith's efforts as competent imitations of Mendelssohn that are pleasant and perhaps engaging, but hardly compelling in expression or startling in originality. Yet Smith, as one of the first women in nineteenth century England to master the intricacies of orchestral composition and to acquit herself twice in the field of the symphony, should be appreciated as a rather successful pioneer in the male-dominated culture, and equal to her contemporaries in taste and ability. Indeed, a comparison with other British symphonies of the time will show that Smith was far from mediocre, but merely bound to the conventions everyone observed until the advent of Elgar. The crisp performances by Howard Shelley and the London Classical Players make Smith's works intelligible in details and formally coherent, as required in such Classically oriented pieces. These premiere recordings are wonderfully reproduced by Chandos, so Smith's music may be judged fairly, without the impediments of inept interpretation or faulty sound.
by Blair Sanderson


Symphony in A minor
Andante for clarinet & orchestra
Symphony in C minor

I'm resurrecting here some of the works that "disappeared" from Avax or were "abandoned" from the original uploaders. There's not a real project behind it, I'm just cleaning up my HDs and following the tide. What I downloaded long ago is flowing back. All credits go to the first uploader. Enjoy...


Denis Amadeus said...

thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Muchas gracias!+