Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:31:49 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Hubert Parry - Invocation To Music Etc. (1992) Hubert Parry - Invocation To Music Etc. (1992)

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Disc: 1

The Soul's Ransom, sinfonia sacra for soloists, chorus & orchestra
1. Introduction. Lento
2. 'Who can number the sands of the sea'. Lento
3. 'Hear ye this, O ye people'. Allegro agitato
4. 'We look for light, but behold darkness'. Moderato maestoso
5. 'Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith?'. Lento
6. 'The hand of the Lord was upon me'. Maestoso
7. 'The people that walkèd in darkness'. Moderato, energico
8. 'See now, ye that love the light'. Moderato, tranquillo

Choric Song from Tennyson's 'The Lotus Eaters' for soloists, chorus & orchestra
9. 1. 'There is sweet music here that softer falls'. An
10. 2. 'Why are we weigh'd upon with heaviness.' Allegro
11. 3. 'Lo! in the middle of the wood'
12. 4. 'Hateful is the dark-blue sky'. Allegro moderato
13. 5. 'How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream'.
14. 6. 'Dear is the memory of our wedded lives'. Moderat
15. 7. 'But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly'. Andant
16. 8. 'The Lotos blooms below the barren peak'. Allegro

Disc: 2

1. Blest Pair of Sirens for chorus & orchestra

Invocation to Music for soloists, chorus & orchestra
2. 2. 'Turn, O return!'. Allegretto tranquillo
3. 3. 'Thee, fair Poetry oft hath sought'. Allegretto tranquillo
4. 4. 'The monstrous sea'. Maestoso energico
5. 5. 'Love to Love calleth'. Andante appassionato
6. 6. Dirge. 'To me, to me, fair-hearted Goddess, come!'. Maestoso
7. 7. 'Man, born of desire'. Moderato
8. 8. 'Rejoice, ye dead, where'er your spirits dwell'. Più lento
9. 9. 'O enter with me the gates of delight'. Allegro vivace
10. 10. 'Thou, O Queen of sinless grace'. Allegro vivo

11. I Was Glad (Psalm 122), anthem for chorus & organ (or orchestra)

Anne Dawson - soprano
Arthur Davies - tenor
Brian Rayner Cook - baritone
The London Philharmonic Choir
The London Philharmonic
Matthias Bamert – conductor


Charles Hubert Parry's choral-orchestral works may not be for everyone -- those who disdain joyful noises need not apply -- but for those for whom Mendelssohn's choral-orchestral music is wonderful but too old-fashioned and Elgar's choral-orchestral music is marvelous but too new-fangled, they'll be just the thing. Sounding at their best like an English Brahms with just the faintest touch of early Wagner in the harmonies, Parry's choral-orchestral works combine warm colors, appealing melodies, impressive effects, and immediately apprehensible forms with not-too-overwrought rhetoric and not-too-overheated drama in an attractive if not particularly inspired personal style. In this two-disc set containing three large-scale works -- The Soul's Ransome, The Lotus-Eaters, and Invocation to Music -- along with two shorter but no less massive works -- Blest pair of Sirens and I was glad -- Parry's choral music is given entirely sympathetic and nearly wholly persuasive performances. Swiss conductor Matthias Bamert leads the London Philharmonic in the three large-scale works, while English conductor Richard Hickox leads the London Symphony in the two shorter works, and while Hickox seems more relaxed with the music's language and confident in its value, Bamert seems more attentive to the music's felicities and more passionate about its worth. Chandos' early digital sound is clear in the quiet parts and huge in the loud parts, but a bit fuzzy in the thick parts -- and, given that the works are scored for vast chorus accompanied by a huge orchestra, most of the music is thick parts, and thus most of the sound is a bit fuzzy. --- James Leonard, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Parry Hubert Tue, 01 Feb 2011 09:56:54 +0000
Parry – Jerusalem-England-The Birds-Te Deum (2012) Parry – Jerusalem-England-The Birds-Te Deum (2012)

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Te Deum For Coronation Of George V
01] We Praise Thee O God
02] Holy Holy Holy Lord God Of Sabaoth
03] The Glorious Company Of The Apostles Praise Thee
04] When Thou Tookest Upon Thee To Deliver Man - We Believe That Thou Shalt Come To Be Our J~1
05] Vouchsafe O Lord To Keep Us This Day Without Sin - O Lord Let Thy Mercy Lighten Upon Us

06] England

The Birds of Aristophanes
07] I Introduction Allegro - Poco Meno Mosso - Poco A Poco Meno Mosso
08] Ii Entry Of The Birds Allegretto - Accelerando - Con Fuoco
09] Iii Entracte Lento Sostenuto
10] Iv Waltz Moderato - Accelerando Poco A Poco - Piu Mosso
11] V Intermezzo Andantino Sostenuto
12] Vi Bridal March Of The Birds Allegro Moderato - Piu Moto - Tempo I - Allargando - Piu Mo~1

13] Jerusalem

The Glories of Our Blood and State
14] I The Glories Of Our Blood And State - And In The Dust Be Equal Made
15] Ii Some Men With Swords May Real The Field
16] Iii The Garlands Wither On Your Brow - Your Heads Must Come - Only The Actions Of The Just

17] Magnificat Anima Mea Dominum
18] Quia Respexit Humilitatem
19] Et Misericordia
20] Fecit Potentiam
21] Suscepit Israel Puerum Suum
22] Sicut Locutus Est

Amanda Roocroft – soprano
BBC National Chorus and Orchestra of Wales
Neeme Järvi – conductor


Listening to this disc has made me ponder how we categorise and what we expect of creative people. Do we have certain expectations that we want fulfilled and when those artists move away from those comfortable preconceptions our ability to accept this 'different' work is challenged?

Here we have a disc of Parry - musical embodiment of State and Empire; Jerusalem, England, a Coronation Te Deum, a Magnificat dedicated to Queen Victoria and a suite of incidental music part of which featured at two royal weddings. It seems that Parry's music has been appropriated to provide the sound-track for Britain as embodied by the royal family. This impression is reinforced by a liner note containing a foreword by Prince Charles and a cover picture of King George V in procession. So, who to turn to for this - seemingly - most British of discs? I suspect Neeme Järvi would not be the name to instantly spring to mind. I have no idea how often British music has featured in Järvi's concert programmes but I'm stuck to think of any British music discs (a couple of Britten recordings aside) at all in his massive discography. That said, Chandos and the BBCNOW are past-masters at this kind of repertoire and as such it is very fine but I do have a lingering feeling that there is missing the last degree of empathy that could lift this fine but rarely great music to another sphere.

To take the music in compositional order; the earliest work offered here is the suite from The Birds by Aristophanes. Parry was commissioned to provide the incidental music for the play and subsequently the six orchestral sequences have been edited into a suite for full orchestra. Liner-note writer Jeremy Dibble argues strongly on their behalf but truth be told this is amiably minor music. By far the most musical interest resides in the third movement Entr'acte and the following Waltz. The former has a Wagnerian flavour and reaches a well-paced climax. Most disappointing is the closing Bridal March. This was used at the weddings of both the Queen in 1947 and of Prince William last year. Järvi misses several tricks here with a reading just too fast and perfunctory to swagger. The interest lies in the fact that this march does clearly pre-echo the style and form that Elgar was to make his own but without the brilliance of orchestration or thematically memorable fibre. The funeral ode The Glories of our Blood and State that follows from the same year might seem to underline the linkage between land and monarch. In fact the text underlines the great democracy of death; "Death lays his icy hand on kings, Sceptre and Crown must tumble down and in the dust be equal made". Although this lasts a brief eight minutes this is an impressive concentrated work. Here and throughout the BBC National Chorus of Wales prove to be ardent and committed performers. They are aided by a ripely resonant recording that ensures that both chorus and orchestra are given an opulent and supportive acoustic in which to perform.

The 1897 setting of the Magnificat contains some of the most interesting music on the disc but at the same time demonstrates most clearly the problems faced by British composers in the 19th century. Simply put, that was how to create an individual body of work not overly in the sway of either the Austro/German tradition or the demands of British choral societies. Parry's Magnificat is a respectful - possibly too respectful - homage to Bach. The central Et misericordia is a gorgeous movement - a highlight of the whole disc. It features an extended solo violin obbligato - very much in the style of the Bach Passions - quite beautifully played here by leader Lesley Hatfield. It does sound very much "in the style of" and crafted rather than written in the white heat of inspiration. Again Jeremy Dibble argues persuasively as to the skill in construction and sheer craftsmanship at work. He even quotes Sir Henry Wood as failing to understand the work's fall from the repertoire. It really is not that hard to understand; there is not enough individuality or impact to demand attention. Don't forget at the same date Elgar was working on Caractacus and Gerontius was barely two years away. Again, I have the sneaking suspicion that Järvi is a safe rather than wholly idiomatic pair of hands. The closing fugato chorus just runs away from itself too much to conjure up the sense of contrapuntal grandeur that others might have found to the work's benefit. Soprano Amanda Roocroft, here and elsewhere on the disc, sings well without stopping one in one's listening tracks. Much the same is true of the 1911 Coronation Te Deum. Again, the comparison to Elgar's Coronation contribution does few favours to Parry's more modest and slightly earnest effort. There's a pleasingly stomach-wobbling contribution from an organ and the extra trumpets already on hand to play I was Glad - at the Coronation not here! - add some ceremonial grandeur. Sadly, the air of the formulaic lingers with thoughtful semi-chorus answering the full-throated main choir. At seventeen minutes this rather outstays its welcome in the way the much briefer funeral ode patently did not.

If I'd had to date Parry's most famous work Jerusalem offhand I'm not quite sure what I would have said. Certainly not as late as the correct 1916. The interest in this performance is two-fold. Firstly, it follows the direction in the Curwen published edition that the first verse should be taken as a solo with the full unison choir joining in for the second. The other point of interest is that this performance uses Parry's own orchestration as opposed to the more common one made by Elgar in 1922. The bad news is that the Elgar version is without a shadow of a doubt better so whatever the interest in Roocroft's solid performance for a' lift and flare of eyes' look elsewhere.

Just two years later, seeking a follow-up to the instant acclaim of Jerusalem, Parry set an adaptation of John of Gaunt's famous speech from Shakespeare's Richard II. It is the speech which starts; "This royal throne of Kings, this sceptred island...." - the white-heat of inspiration which Jerusalem undoubtedly possesses did not strike twice and the unison form ends up sounding rather like the song of a second-rank public school.

This will read as damning with faint praise - which was exactly the thought that brought to mind the idea with which I open this review. With Jerusalem and I Was Glad Parry wrote two of the greatest occasional pieces in the literature of British music. They were and remain occasional works and do not represent the bulk or the most typical music of their creator.

Interestingly, I am reading for review purposes in parallel with this disc a study of key choral works of the English Musical Renaissance. The Parry works that are singled out there are examples of his six so-called Ethical Cantatas (1902-08) as being both his best and most personal works. With the exception of The Soul’s Ransom (Chandos CHAN 241-31) they have not been recorded and are all but unknown today which reflects that perhaps what we want of Parry is Jerusalem and more Jerusalem. If that is indeed the case then Chandos has done it proud. I don't know if it’s my imagination but the Hoddinott Hall sounds slightly more resonant than usual but that is wholly appropriate. The BBC National Chorus of Wales sing lustily or sensitively as the music requires - I could imagine a greater volume of sound from the choir but again that's as much to do with the theatricality of the music as with anything else. The BBCNOW are their usual reliable selves. My instinct is that another conductor could have found an ounce more sweep and lofty idealism in this music - this is not really the kind of cut-and-thrust musical drama that seems to suit Järvi best. Usual Chandos high production values apply; Jeremy Dibble's informative note is in three languages and full text in English only (or Latin with English translation) are given. An interesting but not obligatory purchase. ---Nick Barnard,

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]]> (bluesever) Parry Hubert Sat, 06 Jul 2013 16:07:53 +0000
Parry – Symphonie No.1 & Concertstück in G minor (1992) Parry – Symphonie No.1 & Concertstück in G minor (1992)

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Symphony No. 1 in G
1. Con fuoco	12:31
2. Andante	10:56
3. Presto - Meno mosso		9:34
4. Allegretto, molto vivace	9:45

5. Concertstück for orchestra in G minor 	10:03

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Matthias Bamert – conductor


Parry (1848-1918), along with Stanford, made the first stage of a three- stage rocket that got British music into the orbit of the 20th century. Between them, they taught practically every major British composer of the coming generations. Both were excellent symphonists. Parry's Symphony 1 (1891) is itself strongly influenced by Brahms and Schumann in both structure and tone, but it also has a dab of British pomp (you can hear Elgar coming over the horizon). His Concertstuck of 1877 has clear Wagnerian traits, but it is more morose than Wagner. A fine performance and recording. ---Paul Cook, Editorial Review

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]]> (bluesever) Parry Hubert Mon, 08 Jul 2013 16:19:57 +0000
Parry – Symphonie No.2 & Symphonic Variations (1991) Parry – Symphonie No.2 & Symphonic Variations (1991)

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Symphony No. 2 in F major  'The Cambridge'	37:46
1 	I 	Andante sostenuto - Allegro moderato 	11:48
2 	II 	Scherzo: Molto vivace - Poco piů mosso - Presto  7:21
3 	III 	Andante 	8:07
4 	IV 	Allegro vivace 	10:23
5 	Symphonic Variations (1897) 	14:04

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Matthias Bamert – conductor


"Das Land ohne Musik," was Mendelssohn's grim verdict on English musical culture ("the land without music"). He was right, at the time. Aside from Purcell -- who predates Vivaldi, in any event -- those musicians most closely associated with England, i.e., Handel, Haydn, Clementi, Cramer, Salomon, Pleyel, were emigres, usually from Austria or Germany.

However, the latter part of the 19th century saw the flowering of native English composers. While modern taste seems to have given the laurels to the mincing Sir Arthur Sullivan (and his pale "Savoy Operas") or the lush Gothic Romanticism of Elgar, the truth is these two were but tips of a decently-sized iceberg. Names like Parry, Stanford, Sterndale Bennett, and Attwood have become footnotes in musical encyclopedias. There may now be a bit of revival (courtesy of adventurous labels like Naxos, or Hyperion, whose approach tends towards chauvinism in favor of British composers).

Parry's symphonic talent is on full display in this Naxos offering, particularly his knack for writing punchy little cells with strong accents which are particularly ripe for symphonic argument. In addition, their compactness allows for transmogrification back and forth between melody and accompaniment. While the technique goes back to Haydn, Beethoven is recognized as its avatar. The main themes of Symphony No. 2's scherzo and of the "Overture to an Unwritten Tragedy" are examples of this.

There is something Schumannesque, as well, in Parry's orchestral sound, in its richness and brightness. At times, as well, Parry's massive slabs of brass and strings have a Nordic or Russian bulk to them, like Sibelius or Tschaikovsky. The playing on this disc is probably not the best (I detected some sour horn-intonation here and there) but this is a small price to pay for such a welcome recovery from that lost or overlooked portion of symphonic literature. This is strongly recommended for fans of symphonic music of the old, better stamp (i.e., Beethoven, Sibelius). ---Joseph Barbarie,

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]]> (bluesever) Parry Hubert Wed, 10 Jul 2013 16:36:49 +0000
Parry – Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 (1991) Parry – Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 (1991)

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Symphony No.3 in C major  'The English' 34:28
1 	I 	Allegro energico 	7:50
2 	II 	Andante sostenuto 	10:02
3 	III 	Allegro molto scherzoso 	5:25
4 	IV 	Moderato 	11:01

Symphony No. 4 in E minor 	41:38
5 	I 	Con fuoco 	16:10
6 	II 	Molto Adagio 	8:32
7 	III 	Allegretto 	7:30
8 	IV 	Spiritoso 	9:15

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Matthias Bamert – conductor


If my house was ablaze and I had time to save one CD on my way out of the door this would be it. The first piece of Parry I ever heard was the third movement of the fourth symphony - it was on a Chandos sampler disc; it was tuneful, light, almost dancing, and it captivated me. I am pleased to say that when I bought the CD I was not disappointed. The third symphony is a joy, full of good tunes sumptuously orchestrated ending in a wonderful finale with Parry's trademark of a strong tune worked through a series of variations. As in the 4th Symphony the scherzo is an almost dance like tune of great charm. The 4th symphony is one of the great secrets of English classical music, the coda of the 1st movement shows a change of pace and mood unmatched in any other symphony, ending in a mood of nobilmente that pre-dates Elgar's similar style by more than a decade and, for sure Elgar never did it better. The finale is a full tilt and full power romantic period classic. According to the Germans we were "the land without music" but this stuff leaves Brahms and Schumann standing. ---Jon Linin,

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]]> (bluesever) Parry Hubert Fri, 12 Jul 2013 14:48:29 +0000
Parry – Symphony No.5 – From Death to Life – Elegy for Brahms (1991) Parry – Symphony No.5 – From Death to Life – Elegy for Brahms (1991)

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Symphony No. 5 in B minor 'Symphonic Fantasia 1912'	26:51
1 	I 	Stress - Slow - Allegro - Tempo 1 	7:06
2 	III 	Love - Lento 	5:59
3 	III 	Play - Vivace 	4:46
4 	IV 	Now - Moderato 	9:00

From Death to Life Symphonic Poem in two connected movements	16:34
5 	I 	Via Mortis - Lento 	8:40
6 	II 	Via Vite - Slow alla marcia 	7:54
7 	Elegy for Brahms in A minor 	13:19
Maestoso espressivo - Largamente - Tempo primo

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Matthias Bamert – conductor


Parry struggled to find his voice at a time when English music had been moribund since Handel's era. Just as he was maturing, Elgar sprang out of the blue and more or less eclipsed him. Undoubtedly Elgar was the greater composer, so it was very tough on Parry. Not that Parry would have worried one bit - he was too much of a collegiate person to worry about his own ego. Formerly described as second rate, we now have good recordings and can reassess what these critics said. I think they are very wrong. A very individual voice emerged over time. There is an Elgarian sweep and nobilimente - and who came first? I have to conclude that Elgar owes a lot to Parry. The fifth is his last symphony(1912). The thematic material is very strong, very Parry (he knew how to write a tune - see Jerusalem) and he knows exactly how to build and relax climaxes, and develop his material. He certainly does not have the mastery of orchestration that Elgar or Strauss had at this time but it is certainly not amateur or ineffective. Perhaps in the 3rd movement there is too much of the landler which perhaps shows he is still too closely tied to German models for an English composer. The beginning of the last movement, with its chamber quality, shows he was not quite oblivious to modern orchestration. In the end, it is the sheer quality of thematic invention and his handling of this material that makes this a fine symphony. When Sir Adrian Boult was about retire, EMI said he could record anything he liked. He chose this symphony. Why? A prominent (I will not say distinguised) critic reviewed the LP and said the score ought to be stuck back on the dusty shelf whence it came. Listen to this CD and see how misguided he was. The symphonic poem From Death to Life (1914) dates from two years later. This a based on a portentious, memorable and elegiac brass theme and its extension. It is noble and affecting and very Parry, exemplifying again his fecundity with thematic material. This is a movement you always want to go on and on. The Via Vitae is Elgarian and British Empire. Maybe this did suggest life to the British in 1914. The final piece on this disc is the Elegy for Brahms (1897). This is quite exquisite and is a small masterpiece, though not like Brahms. The opening is so intensely expressive as to recall Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht. The ending is quite magical, such is his control of our emotions. The performances by the LPO under Matthias Bamert are superb and the recording is outstanding. --- Dr. R. G. Bullock,

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]]> (bluesever) Parry Hubert Sun, 14 Jul 2013 15:27:01 +0000