Smyth - The Prison | Chandos CHSA5279

Smyth - The Prison

£12.56 £11.66

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special offer ending 29/09/2020

Label: Chandos

Cat No: CHSA5279

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Expected Release Date: 7th August 2020

Contents

Artists

Sarah Brailey (soprano)
Dashon Burton (bass-baritone)
Experiential Chorus
Experiential Orchestra

Conductor

James Blachly

Works

Smyth, Ethel

The Prison

Artists

Sarah Brailey (soprano)
Dashon Burton (bass-baritone)
Experiential Chorus
Experiential Orchestra

Conductor

James Blachly

About

18 August 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Constitutional Amendment, granting women in the US the right to vote. A fitting time then for our release of the world premiere recording of Ethel Smyth’s late masterpiece The Prison.

Smyth left home at nineteen to study composition in Leipzig. In the company of Clara Schumann and her teacher Heinrich von Herzogenberg, she met and won the admiration of composers such as Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Dvořák, and Grieg. Smyth was the first woman to have an opera performed at the Met, in 1903. (The second was Kaija Saariaho, whose L’Amour de loin appeared there in 2016!) Smyth later became central to the Suffragette movement in England, writing the March of the Women. Her gender politics and sexuality were cause for attacks by critics, and she famously went to prison herself for throwing a stone through an MP’s window.

Composed in 1930 and premiered in 1931 in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, The Prison is a Symphony in two parts, ‘Close on Freedom’ and ‘The Deliverance’, set for soprano and bass-baritone soloists, chorus, and full orchestra. The text is taken from a philosophical work by Henry Bennet Brewster and concerns the writings of a prisoner in solitary confinement, his reflections on life and his preparations for death.

The album is recorded in Surround Sound and available as a Hybrid SACD.

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