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SMYTH Ethel - Autograph Letter signed 1929 discussing arrangements for a trip to Edinburgh

  • £425.00

Ethel SMYTH (1858-1944)

Autograph Letter (signed with her initial “E”) to “Darling Alice” [her eldest sister, Alice Davidson], giving details of her forthcoming trip to Edinburgh, and news of her concert in Berlin.
2 Pages 8vo, Woking, 10 Janurary 1929. 
I now have the Rehearsal schedule from Miss Grierson & should (at latest) leave London by the 10 am train on Thurs 24th – for there is a rehearsal that evening but probably by 11.15 on the 23rd. I am asking her to reserve a room for me at the Roxburgh because she says poor Anna, who arrived in Edin on the 3rd or 4th was wired for to go back to Liverpool on the 7th, so it is to be feared that Mrs. R. is very ill – I am so glad I hadn’t written to her, but of course I was awaiting news from Miss Grierson.
I am advised that the best thing to do, as the morning is the finest light etc is to go to St. Andrews in the afternoon, sleep there (my friend Miss Steel is telling me all about the hotels which I hear are very warm!) and come back next day to Edinr. According to my rehearsal list I cd. do this capitally on Friday 25th or on Tues 29th but the former wd. be best. [I cd. phone up St A & ask what the weather is like!]
The concert in Berlin was less of a financial slump than I expected . . . I mean less dead loss! so that I was able to send Brain & Marjorie Hayward a slight cheque extra apiece & double my stable subscription to Bob as I always said I sh. do, if possible. This still leaves me £14 of expected money for Edinr. & of course they’ll give me the fee I had last year (a very small one! £15 but still!) So you see I can pay my way darling. Yr. E.
Ethel Smyth’s style of letter writing was often enthusiastic and this, written when she was well into her sixties, retains that sense of someone cheerfully rushed.
Smyth had retained close ties to Germany ever since her early days as a student in Leipzig, and maintained friendships with several German conductors after her return to England. Whilst she felt, perhaps unfairly, under-appreciated in her native country, in Germany her compositions were admired and popular.
The noted pianist and conductor Mary Gardner Grierson had worked with Ethel Smyth on previous occasions, and there is a record of a discussion concerning Grierson’s conducting Smyth’s late cantata The Prison the following year.
A previous collector has pencilled “Ethel Smythe” [sic] at the top left-corner of the letter, which is otherwise in excellent condition.


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