Trio for piano, violin and cello in D minor by Ethel Smith
What do you do when your work is characterized as lacking feminine charm if it is too powerful and energetic, but less than the artistic standard of your male colleagues if it’s delicate and melodious? You get involved in the suffrage movement, you compose its anthem and even spend two months in jail for the cause (albeit, after doing some private property damage). The protagonist of all this, Ethel Smith, was an extravagant and interesting woman: a composer, a sport enthusiast (horse riding, tennis, golf), a suffragette, a bisexual caught in the mindset of her time (1858-1944) (I wonder why it is so much easier for me to love my own sex more passionately than yours. I can’t make it out, for I am a very healthy-minded person) and the first woman composer to receive the Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE in short). You can check out here more in depth information about the life and work of this remarkable woman and also listen to this sad and nostalgic trio for piano, violin and cello.
Disclaimer: this is not an exhaustive list of all the works curated by Clemency Burton-Hill in the book Year of wonder: classical music for every day. To enjoy the full catalogue of pieces proposed by the author along with her comments on the composers and the music itself, feel free to pick up her awesome book here (not affiliated, nor sponsored).