Smart, Henry, jr.



English organist and composer; born in London. He received his early education at Highgate, and in his boyhood spent much time in Robson's organ factory, where he unconsciously laid the foundation of his profound knowledge of organ construction and mechanics. Declining a commission in the Indian Army, he was apprenticed to a lawyer, but soon abandoned the study of law for music. He studied under his father and W. H. Kearns, but was largely self-educated. In 1831 he was appointed organist of the parish church at Blackburn, Lancashire, where he remained five years, and in 1835 performed an anthem he had composed in honor of the three hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. This was his first important composition. In 1836 he became organist of St. Philip's Church in London, and in 1844 took a similar position at St. Luke's, Old Street, where he played until 1864. In 1864 he became organist at St. Pancras, and continued to play there for fourteen years. In 1864 his eyesight began to fail, and he had to dictate all his compositions from that time forward. In June, 1879, the government granted him a pension of a hundred pounds a year, but he died in July, before he had received any of it. Smart was a notable organist and excelled as accompanist of services and in extemporization. He wrote Cathedral services in F, two in G, and one in B flat, and a large number of pieces for organ. He wrote a Series of Organ Pieces, a Choral Book, and the Presbyterian Hymnal, and just before his death a postlude in E flat. Other church compositions were the two great anthems, Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge, and Sing to the Lord, written especially for the fourth and sixth Annual   Festivals  of the London Choral Choirs' Association at St. Paul's in 1876 and 1878. He wrote over eighty part-songs, among them being Ave Maria; The Lady of the Sea; The Shepherd's Farewell; Nature's Praise; The Abbess; Estelle; and The Wave's Reproof. Probably his best composition is The Bride of Dunkerron, a cantata. Other cantatas were The Fishermaidens, King Rene's Daughter, and Jacob. Other compositions are the opera, Berta, or the Gnome of the Hartzburg, and two unfinished operas, The Surrender of Calais, and Undine. For the Handel Society he edited two trios and thirteen Italian duets of that master. Smart was a successful designer of organs, those in the town hall of Leeds and the city hall and St. Andrew's Hall in Glasgow being examples of his work in this line.