I’ve found what I think is the best available music by Ethel Smyth: this recording of her Serenade in D (1890) and Double Concerto for Violin and Horn (1927). (Pardon the generic suffragette image on the CD cover, kind of a cheap shot.) Curiously, the Serenade marked her debut in the London music world, and the Double Concerto was one of her last works as she succumbed to deafness. Her Mass is magnificent, but liturgical works don’t leave as much room for personality. The Serenade is melodious and varied enough that I’d rather hear it than Brahms’s two works in that genre. The Double Concerto is remarkably delicate and memorable, and rather Holstian – though she was Holst’s senior by 16 years – and a stronger and better thought-out work than Holst’s Double Violin Concerto, to name an obvious comparison piece. Although I like that too. Holst and Walton have long been my favorite English composers, and Smyth now officially joins them. She deserves far more attention than she gets.