Harraden [Glover], R. Ethel
- Nigel Burton
(fl late 19th century-early 20th century). English composer. She was the daughter of Samuel Harraden (1821–98), a musical instrument importer, and married Frank Glover. Herbert Harraden, who wrote the librettos for two of her operettas and the texts of many of her songs, may have been her brother. Her operettas His Last Chance and The Taboo were successfully produced in London and favourably received by the critics. Brown and Stratton erroneously credit her sister Beatrice (1864–1936) with the composition of Ships that pass in the night (1894), one of her most popular songs.
Harraden’s slender talent is at its best in songs such as Bridget’s Reply and Peggy and Robin (both to words by H. Harraden, published in 1882), which are in a bright English folk idiom, touched with tenderness; and Robert Schumann’s influence rescues ‘At Twilight’ (no.2 of Six Characteristic Pieces for violin and piano). She failed, however, when attempting to express deeper emotions: her vocal waltzes are effusively saccharine, and the spoken dialogue of her theatre pieces is usually more interesting than the music....