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Title:Dame Ethel Smyth: "Mass in D"
Author(s):Farquharson, Linda J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Von Gunden, Heidi
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Women's Studies
Abstract:The Mass in D is an extension of Smyth's personality--powerful, colorful, and gifted. This thesis first queries the embryonic beginnings of Ethel Smyth, the student composer. In Chapter I, a condensed annotated chronology lists specific sociological events which had a direct influence on Smyth; while the supplemental annotations, beneficently utilized throughout Chapter I and each of the following chapters, actualize a portrait of Smyth's character and sentiments. They show an Ethel Smyth, who from childhood on and with undaunted determination, chose demanding avenues of study and performance mediums for a nineteenth-century British woman.
Secondly, this study explores Smyth's struggles in procuring for the Mass in D a debut performance. Chapter II demonstrates how Smyth, without the complete support of her family or a collegial British network, won an "audience" for the Mass before the two most politically-powerful and influential women of the day, exiled-Empress Eugenie of France and Queen Victoria, ruler of the British Empire.
Chapter III expatiates Smyth's compositional approach, while Chapter IV confronts Michael Hurd's criticism ("Ethel Smyth" article in the New Groves) of Smyth's music having "no settled, personal voice." This research will bring to light the Mass' unifying structural devices--a possible description of that which Sir Barnby (the conductor of the debut performance) called the "iron-rod."
Finally, Chapter V bears out the fate of the Mass in D, via audience reaction, reviews, and the performances which and which did not follow, and ending with Smyth's reaction to this realized destiny.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Farquharson, Linda J.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9702511
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9702511

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