C.H.H. Parry and Felix Mendelssohn
Songs of Farewell and other choral works
Parry: Hear my words, ye people
Mendelssohn: Sechs Sprüche
Parry: Songs of Farewell
Parry: There is an old belief (early version)
Parry: Toccata ‘The Wanderer’
Parry: Fugue ‘The Wanderer’
Choir of New College Oxford , Robert Quinney
Novum NCR1394 @ £14.25 plus P&P
Gramophone “Another stellar release to mark 100 years since the death of Hubert Parry – and cannily programmed, too…Beautifully engineered by Adrian Hunter and admirably presented, this novum issue with surely delight all Parry fan.”
Choir & Organ “The Songs of Farewell have been recorded using Quinney’s new edition from Parry’s manuscript in the Bodleian Library. His reading is near- perfectly judged, the choir’s tone bright and full. Equally fine is Hear my words, ye people, which concludes with a metrical version of Psalm 150 familiar to most people as a hymn tune, while it’s fascinating to hear an early and quite different version of ‘There is an old belief .”
About the recording …..
Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) was a dominant force in British music-making in the four decades between the premiere of Prometheus Unbound in 1879 and his death in October 1918. His music, with that of his contemporary Charles Villiers Stanford, brought his native land into the European musical mainstream, through its assimilation of continental— specifically German—models.
This disc situates Parry’s music in its European context. Parry was a social and political liberal, and crucially—like all the leading British musicians of his time—his horizons extended beyond the island of his birth. His late set of six motets, Songs of Farewell, are among his greatest achievements in any musical genre, demonstrating his capacity for deeply affecting introspection. In this recording, they are prefaced by another sextet: the pithy Sechs Sprüche by Mendelssohn, which make clear the debt Parry owed to his continental forebears and contemporaries.
Moreover, this recording presents, for the first time, an early version of ‘There is an old belief’, edited by Robert Quinney from the autograph manuscripts in Oxford’s Bodleian Library and a printed proof copy. The compositional history of the motet is unclear, but the evidence suggests Parry vacillated between two strikingly different versions of the section ‘serene in changeless prime’ until shortly before publication.