Matthias Bammert: Alice Mary Smith Symphony 1

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Symphony No. 1 by Alice Mary Smith. Conducted by Matthias Bammert with the London Mozart Players.

I. Allegro - 00:00
II. Andante - 7:49
III. Minuetto - Allegretto - Trio - 15:54
IV. Allegro - 20:01

Alice Mary Smith, married name Alice Mary Meadows White (19 May 1839 — 4 December 1884) was an English composer.
Smith was born in London, the third child of a relatively well-to-do family. She showed aptitude for music from her early years and took lessons privately from William Sterndale Bennett and George Macfarren, publishing her first song in 1857. In November 1867, the year of her marriage to a lawyer, Frederick Meadows White, she was elected Female Professional Associate of the Philharmonic Society. In 1884 she was elected Hon. RAM (honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music). After a period of illness in which she went abroad to try to recover, she died of typhoid fever in London the same year.

Smith was a prolific composer of both large and small scale works. Among her compositions are four piano quartets, three string quartets, a clarinet sonata (1870), six concert overtures and two symphonies. Her first, the Symphony in C Minor, was written at the age of 24 and performed by the Musical Society of London in 1863; the second, in A Minor, was written for the Alexandra Palace competition of 1876, but was never submitted. Smith composed two large choral works with soloists: an operetta, Gisela of Rüdesheim (performed, Fitzwilliam Music Society, Cambridge, 1865) and The Masque of Pandora (1875), for which the orchestration was never completed. In 1880 she turned her attention towards writing large-scale cantatas, all published by Novello and Co. Ode to the North-East Wind (chorus and orch.), Ode to The Passions (1882), her longest work, performed at the Hereford Festival in that year, and two cantatas for male voices in the last two years of her life. The Valley of Remorse, a setting of a poem by Sarah Louise Bevington for chorus, soloists and orchestra, remained incomplete at her death, and is lost. Of her forty songs, her most popular work was the vocal duet Maying. Her manuscripts are housed in the Royal Academy of Music Library and some of her instrumental works have recently been published (A-R Editions) and made available for performance. According to an obituary in The Athenaeum of 13 December 1884: "Her music is marked by elegance and grace ... power and energy. Her forms were always clear and her ideas free from eccentricity; her sympathies were evidently with the Classic rather than with the Romantic school."

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