He was considered the nation's unofficial composer laureate with hits such as Jerusalem, and was knighted by Queen Victoria for his services to music including the revitalisation of British musical life - this week Donald Macleod focuses upon the life and music of Sir Hubert Parry.
Whilst still at Oxford, Parry was very active in musical activities such as the Exeter College Musical Society. This gave him the opportunity to hear many of his own works, such as songs and partsongs. Parry would continue to compose music for the voice throughout his career, including songs such as More fond than Cushat Dove, and the partsong What voice of gladness.
When Parry left Oxford, he went into insurance much to the pleasure of his father. This also provided Parry with a level of respectability, which his future mother-in-law very much approved of, eventually allowing him to marry her daughter Maude. Throughout his early career with Lloyds, Parry continued his musical activities, always searching for a piano and a composition teacher to support him. He continued to compose around this time, including works for the piano such as his Charakterbilder.
Parry's search for musical support brought him to the pianist and teacher Dannreuther, who frequently held his own chamber music gatherings. This allowed Parry the opportunity to compose and hear his works, such as his first Piano Trio. Dannreuther and Parry also both shared a love for the music of Wagner, which can be heard in Parry's orchestral work Concertstuck, composed after he'd visited Beyreuth.