Overture to The Wreckers
Year of arrangement: 2020
Composer: Ethel Smyth (1858–1944)
Instrumentation: 1[/pic] 1[/ca] 1 1 – 2 1 1 0 – 2perc, hp or pno, str (min. 1 1 1 1 1)
World Premiere: Rep Orchestra/George Morton, April 2022
Published by Steel City Music Publishing
Hiring and licensing information available here
The Overture to Smyth’s opera The Wreckers is likely to be the one work of hers people have heard, if they have heard anything of her work. The Overture is an exuberant curtain-raiser, with lively outer sections representing the stormier aspects of the plot. A lyrical middle section first showcases the winds, then a sumptuous and sturdy theme gives the strings their head. The Wreckers, an opera telling the story of a Cornish community who’d entice ships to the rocks then pillage the wreckages, was initially a huge success (Mahler considered it in Vienna before he was driven from his job).
Written for individual woodwinds, a small brass section, timpanist, percussionist, harp/piano and a small string section, this new reduction of enables chamber ensembles to explore the overture from Dame Ethel Smyth's masterpiece The Wreckers.