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Parry Is Nearly Sunk by a Warship

Donald Macleod focuses on Parry's final years.

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.

During the last twenty years of Parry's life, although he was an important part of the British musical scene, knighted by Queen Victoria, and Director of the Royal College of Music, his own music would soon be forgotten and overshadowed by the works of his friend Elgar. Parry would still compose two scores, which would prove to be his most popular and enduring. Jerusalem, which is considered to be Britain's second national anthem, was composed for a war organisation during WWI. The second, his anthem I was Glad, was composed for the coronation of Edward VII, and has since been used at many royal occasions.

Parry's health was deteriorating greatly, and he had to start giving up various teaching and committee obligations. Throughout his career he had always continued to compose the odd work for organ, or set of songs based on English lyrics. There was an Indian summer for Parry when his works were briefly back in vogue, which saw the composition of his fifth symphony. However, with the outbreak of war, his health soon started to go downhill, as he was required to work more and more on his own estate in the chopping down of trees. This was a period when Parry would hear of the death of many of his students at the front, and suffer himself from depression. Parry died a month before the armistice, and at his funeral was performed one of his last composed works, his a cappella Songs of Farewell.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Hubert Parry

    The North Wind

    Performer: Christopher Maltman, baritone Performer: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Performer: Martyn Brabbins, conductor

    • Hyperion CDA67065.
  • Hubert Parry

    I was glad

    Performer: Choir of Winchester Cathedral Performer: Waynflete Singers Performer: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Performer: David Hill, conductor

    • Decca 4703782.
  • Hubert Parry

    The Blackbird from English Lyrics set XI no.4

    Performer: Clifford Benson, piano

    • Hyperion CDA67044.
  • Hubert Parry

    She is my love beyond all thought from English Lyrics Set XI no.8

    Performer: Stephen Varcoe, baritone

    • Hyperion CDA67044.
  • Hubert Parry

    The Old 104th (from Seven Chorale Preludes Set I no.4)

    Performer: James Lancelot, organ

    • Priory PRCD682AB.
  • Hubert Parry

    Melcombe (from Seven Chorale Preludes Set I no.5)

    Performer: James Lancelot, organ

    • Priory PRCD682AB.
  • Hubert Parry

    Second Movement: Love from Symphony no.5

    Performer: London Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: Sir Adrian Boult, conductor

    • EMI CDC7490222.
  • Hubert Parry

    There is an old belief, from Songs of Farewell

    Performer: Tenebrae Performer: Nigel Short, director

    • Signum SIGCD267.
  • Hubert Parry

    At the round earths imagined corners, from Songs of Farewell

    Performer: Tenebrae Performer: Nigel Short, director

    • Signum SIGCD267.
  • Hubert Parry

    The North Wind

    Performer: Christopher Maltman, baritone Performer: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Performer: Martyn Brabbins, conductor

    • Hyperion CDA67065.
  • Hubert Parry

    I was glad

    Performer: Choir of Winchester Cathedral Performer: Waynflete Singers Performer: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Performer: David Hill, conductor

    • Decca 4703782.
  • Hubert Parry

    The Blackbird from English Lyrics set XI no.4

    Performer: Clifford Benson, piano

    • Hyperion CDA67044.
  • Hubert Parry

    She is my love beyond all thought from English Lyrics Set XI no.8

    Performer: Stephen Varcoe, baritone

    • Hyperion CDA67044.
  • Hubert Parry

    The Old 104th (from Seven Chorale Preludes Set I no.4)

    Performer: James Lancelot, organ

    • Priory PRCD682AB.
  • Hubert Parry

    Melcombe (from Seven Chorale Preludes Set I no.5)

    Performer: James Lancelot, organ

    • Priory PRCD682AB.
  • Hubert Parry

    Second Movement: Love from Symphony no.5

    Performer: London Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: Sir Adrian Boult, conductor

    • EMI CDC7490222.
  • Hubert Parry

    There is an old belief, from Songs of Farewell

    Performer: Tenebrae Performer: Nigel Short, director

    • Signum SIGCD267.
  • Hubert Parry

    At the round earths imagined corners, from Songs of Farewell

    Performer: Tenebrae Performer: Nigel Short, director

    • Signum SIGCD267.

Broadcasts

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

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Composers A to Z

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Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.