Thursday 25 March 2021

Dame Ethel Smyth wins a Grammy!

Ethel Smyth The Prison; Dashon Burton, Sarah Brailey, Experiential Chorus and Orchestra, James Blachly; Chandos
In all the fuss about winners of last week's Grammy awards one win rather got neglected. 

That of Dame Ethel Smyth.

In truth, of course, Dame Ethel didn't win the award personally, but the award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album went to the premiere recording of Smyth's late masterpiece The Prison, performed by mezzo-soprano Sarah Brailey, baritone Dashon Burton and the Experiential Chorus and Orchestra conducted by James Blachly which was issued on Chandos records [read my review of the recording, and see my interview with James Blachly]. 

This is a remarkable achievement on many counts, what with a work that few people had heard of, which hardly featured in lists of Smyth's achievements and which had hardly been performed since Smyth's death in 1944 let alone recorded, an orchestra which had never made a commercial recording before along with a recording project which was funded via crowd-funding (on Kickstarter) by an all-American team.

You can see Sarah Brailey's acceptance speech on YouTube, find further information from the Grammys website and find the recording via this link tree.

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